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Continued investment in community efforts critical to ending the opioid crisis

State proposals would sustain prevention, treatment and recovery efforts

4/13/2018 12:30:55 PM

For media inquiries only
Sarah Berg
Minneapolis — Treatment providers, people who have been personally affected by opioids, and community leaders met with Acting Commissioner Chuck Johnson of the Minnesota Department of Human Services today to discuss the community’s response to the opioid epidemic and learn more about state proposals to help continue these efforts.

“Working closely with our community partners, we have helped pregnant and parenting women, expanded access to medically-assisted treatment and improved care coordination,” Johnson said. “However, there is still a lot of work to do. We need expand, not shrink, our opioid efforts by building on community-based efforts now underway. It’s going to take resources for all levels of government, along with community partners, to bring an end to this crisis.”

The roundtable, held at the Minneapolis American Indian Center, focused on new and innovative approaches to addressing opioids, the need to support existing programs, and the importance of working with and staying focused on the community, especially communities most affected. Representatives from a variety of community agencies — the Native American Community Clinic, Hennepin Healthcare, Perspectives, Inc., Wayside Recovery Center and Wilder Recovery Services — participated in the event.

Opioid misuse and abuse in Minnesota and across the nation has resulted in skyrocketing numbers of deaths and has devastated individuals, families and communities. 
Governor Dayton’s Legislative Proposals to Prevent and Treat Opioid Abuse

Minnesota, with the support of short-term federal funding, has been working over the past year to build a wide range of community-based solutions to the opioid crisis. Governor Mark Dayton has proposed several key initiatives to sustain these efforts, including:

  • Support for integrated local responses to the opioid crisis: State grants will support local efforts to address opioids, including chronic pain management and services for pregnant women and people involved in the criminal justice system. Potential grantees include tribes; local governments; health care, behavioral health and addiction treatment providers; and nonprofit social service and cultural agencies.

  • An Opioid Stewardship Fee: Governor Dayton is proposing that opioid manufacturers pay a new fee when they renew their licenses with the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy. The revenue will help offset the state’s costs for the prevention and treatment of opioid addiction.
  • Increasing timely access to substance use disorder treatment: A screening tool will help people get immediate access to initial treatment services, while a more comprehensive assessment of their treatment needs is pending. 
The state recently launched a federally funded prevention campaign focused on community engagement. The campaign,, seeks to reach those who are using or at risk, as well as those looking for information about prevention and treatment, and includes outreach via social media and community meetings.

Minnesota received a $6 million, three-year federal grant to increase the availability of medication-assisted treatment last fall, as well as a $10.6 million Federal State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis grant earlier in the summer, which runs until July 2019. However, there is no money to continue these efforts after the short-term funding ends. Governor Dayton has proposed investing about $12 million a year to enhance opioid abuse prevention, treatment and recovery, overdose emergency response and law enforcement strategies.

More information about Governor Dayton’s proposals to prevent and treat opioid abuse is available in a fact sheet. Information about other actions taken by state government to address opioid abuse is also available in a fact sheet
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