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The Office of Addiction and Recovery (OAR) supports both the Subcabinet on Opioids, Substance Use, and Addiction, as well as a Governor’s Advisory Council of the same name. It is led by the addiction and recovery director who is also the chair of the Subcabinet on Opioids, Substance Use, and Addiction.

The Subcabinet on Opioids, Substance Use, and Addiction was created in 2022 by the legislature and Governor Walz (Minn. Stat. § 4.046, Subd. 5) to improve outcomes for Minnesotans experiencing substance use disorder, their families, and their communities. The subcabinet looks to increase access to treatment, reduce barriers and gaps in service, improve Minnesota’s recovery infrastructure, and develop strategies and policies for people experiencing opioid use disorder and homelessness. The subcabinet focuses, in part, on issues in communities disproportionately impacted by substance use disorder on and presenting recommendations to the governor and legislature. The Subcabinet consists of the following state agencies:

The Subcabinet is chaired by the Addiction and Recovery Director and consists of eight state agencies listed in statute:

  • The Department of Human Services
  • The Department of Health
  • The Department of Education
  • The Department of Higher Education
  • Minnesota Management and Budget
  • The Department of Corrections
  • The Department of Public Safety
  • Interagency Council on Homelessness
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Governor’s Advisory Council on Opioids, Substance Use, and Addiction

In addition to the Subcabinet the 2022 legislation also created the Governor’s Advisory Council on Opioids, Substance Use, and Addiction. The council is directed to:

  1. Identify opportunities for and barriers to the development and implementation of policies and strategies to expand access to effective services for Minnesotans experiencing substance use disorder (SUD), particularly Minnesotans in communities that are disproportionately impacted by the opioid epidemic.
  2. Advise the Governor’s Opioids, Substance Use, and Addiction Subcabinet.
  3. Provide opportunities for those who have directly experienced addiction to address needs, challenges, and solutions.

The council consists of up to 18 members appointed by the governor. Council members represent community leaders, individuals with direct experience with addiction, individuals providing treatment services, and other relevant stakeholders. The chair of the council is appointed by the governor.

2023 Year-end Report and Recommendations to the Governor’s Subcabinet on Opioids, Substance Use, and Addiction

Advisory Council Members

  • Gavin Bart - Minneapolis, MN
  • Brandy Brink - Mankato, MN
  • Farhia Budul - Minneapolis, MN
  • Colin Cash - (vice chair) Onamia, MN
  • Autumn Dillie - Minneapolis, MN
  • John Donovan - Big Lake, MN
  • Beth Elstad - (chair) Duluth, MN
  • Wendy Jones - St. Paul, MN
  • Fiyyaz Karim - St. Paul, MN
  • Pamela Lanhart - Burnsville, MN
  • Jeffrey Lind - Bemidji, MN
  • William Messinger - St. Paul, MN
  • Suzanne Nash - Minneapolis, MN
  • Lynne Redleaf - Minneapolis, MN
  • Anderson Saint Georges - Detroit Lakes, MN
  • Kimberly Stokes - Britt, MN
  • LaTricia Tate - Minneapolis, MN
  • Travis Winship - Minneapolis, MN

Strategies

The Office of Addiction and Recovery works across state and local governments to coordinate and align efforts, and better target the state's role in addressing addiction, treatment, and recovery. The office conducts robust public engagement to build relationships with communities to ensure people with direct experience identify key priorities to meet the needs of their communities.

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Justice-Involved Populations

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Unsheltered Populations

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Adolescent Substance Misuse

Public and Community Engagement

Implementing Framework

A core function and commitment of the Office of Addiction and Recovery (OAR) is robust engagement with individuals and communities impacted by the opioid and substance use crisis, particularly those with lived experience with substance use disorder (SUD). OAR is committed to taking time to create, strengthen, and sustain long-term relationships in the community to foster meaningful dialogue with people with lived experience, especially in our Black and Native communities. In addition, OAR will work with people with lived experience, local government partners, Tribal nations, and other partners to identify and develop community-driven solutions to address these crises.

Connecting with Communities

The framework includes providing a platform for dialogue about the needs and challenges of those in active addiction or recovery to identify practical solutions and gather and share ideas for how Minnesotans can get involved with and stay informed about addiction issues that matter to them.

One of the ways the Office of Addiction and Recovery connects with communities is through the Governor’s Advisory Council on Opioids Substance Use and Addiction. This external advisory body is comprised of Minnesotans with lived experience with substance use disorder, either having experienced substance use disorder themselves, had a family member with a substance use disorder, or other connection to the disease.

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