Recovery centers adjusting to best help fentanyl abuse, police make record drug bust

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One of the nation’s leading addiction recovery organizations says they’ve adjusted their programming to best handle the increase in fentanyl abuse.

“It’s a huge problem – fentanyl and opioids are a really big problem,” Sara Polley, M.D., who is the national medical director of Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation’s youth continuum, said.

“We’ve really learned that we have to meet people where they’re at and offer them individualized services, including medications, therapy, support groups,” Polley added. “So things have changed and there’s a lot of hope.”

That hope is coming at a critical time. In Minnesota, there were more than 1,200 overdose deaths – that’s 22% higher than 2020.

According to Chief Booker Hodges, with the Bloomington Police Department, the city has already had a record number of overdoes this year with 12. His department was recently part of what he called the largest fentanyl bust in state history.

“This is killing a lot of people in Minnesota,” Chief Hodges said while holding a picture from that drug bust.

In all, Chief Hodges said more than 108,000 pills of fentanyl were taken off the street because of the operation that landed 36-year-old Marcus Trice, from Seattle, in federal custody. 108,943 “M30” fentanyl pills were found after officers responded to a suspected fraud report at a Bloomington hotel on Aug. 31.

“This is enough fentanyl to kill a fifth of the entire state’s population,” Chief Hodges said about the seizure.

Police also urged residents suffering from opioid addiction to seek help. Bloomington police said its embedded social worker specializes in drug and alcohol addiction and can be reached at 952-563-4900. Help from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation can be found here.