Sheriff’s office highlights available help after 40 overdoses in week

[anvplayer video=”5146237″ station=”998122″]

Hennepin County authorities are highlighting resources available to help fight overdoses after more than three dozen were reported in the past week.

The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday that it had received 40 suspected overdose reports within the last week, six of which were fatal.

It’s an issue that has been worsening for years but accelerated over the past few years, both locally and nationwide.

Opioids have been a significant contributor to that rise, accounting for 75% of drug overdose deaths nationwide in 2020.

RELATED: Officials: US overdose deaths topped 100K in one year, Minnesota saw 39% increase

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says a record-high 100,000 Americans died of drug overdoses last year. In Minnesota, 1,286 overdose deaths were reported in 2021, 924 of which were opioid-related, and Hennepin County alone reported 340 opioid-related overdoses in 2021.

Health officials say the rise in overdose deaths over the past few years is tied to the COVID-19 pandemic, but officials want the public to know that there are resources available to help.

Naloxone is a drug that can reverse an opioid overdose and save lives. In Minnesota, any health care provider licensed to prescribe medications can prescribe naloxone. The University of Minnesota has information online about the importance of naloxone in fighting the opioid crisis and how to administer naloxone.

Local officials also offer classes to help people learn about the signs of addiction and how to help anyone dealing with an opioid addiction, including how to administer naloxone in the event of an overdose. The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office has its next class on Dec. 6. Other statewide community-based organizations that offer naloxone training and kits include:

The sheriff’s office also has tips for anyone who sees a suspected overdose:

  • Call 911,
  • Move the person to their side,
  • If the person is unresponsive, administer naloxone every two to three minutes, as necessary,
  • If naloxone is administered, the person has to be evaluated by medics.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357, the Drug Addiction Hotline at 866-210-1303 or the state’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division at 651-431-2460.

Hennepin County social services can be reached at 612-348-4111 and more county resources are available online.