Drug overdoses have been happening so frequently in Minneapolis, the city’s police wanted to make the public aware of the situation.
From May 28 to June 5, Minnesota’s biggest city had a reported 65 drug overdoses and one suspected fatality. The worst day was June 2 when police responded to 15 drug overdose calls, 10 of which happened in a nine-hour window. On average during this span, the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) responded to seven drug overdose calls a day.
“With such a large increase in overdoses in a short period of time, the Minneapolis Police Department is alerting the public to create public health awareness,” MPD said.
A variety of drugs have been used by people who are overdosing from “counterfeit oxycontin, potent heroin, and additional unknown substances.”
“It is nearly impossible to attribute the entirety of this spike to just one source and all illicit drugs bought on the street should be considered dangerous and have the potential to contain powerful opiates such as fentanyl or carfentanyl,” the police department said.
Police patrol will increase in high overdose areas. The city’s police arm themselves with Narcan, the emergency reversal overdose drug medicine to combat these situations. MPD has created an overdose coordinator position to deal with all overdose situations. This position works alongside the city’s homicide unit.
In 2017, Minnesota had 422 drug overdose deaths, which amounts to 7.8 deaths per 100,000 persons. This is well below the national average of 14.6 deaths per 100,000 persons, according to drugabuse.gov.
Minnesota fentanyl deaths increased from 31 cases in 2011 to 184 cases in 2017. Drugabuse.gov’s data shows this is almost a sixfold increase. Heroin deaths went from 16 in 2010 to 149 deaths in 2017.
Nowadays, Americans are more likely to die from an opioid overdose than a car crash, according to ABC News.
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Zachery Schmidt is the digital editor of Battleground State News.