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Even throughout an unusual year like 2020, the opioid crisis continues in the US; in fact, according to the American Medical Association, the crisis has worsened as “more than 40 states have reported increases in opioid-related mortality as well as ongoing concerns for those with a mental illness or substance-use disorder.” In general, a rise in stress and fear due to many factors—but mainly the COVID-19 virus and resulting isolation—has been cited as the main reason for these higher rates. Thus, many states, on top of handling the pandemic, have had to address this issue. Minnesota is no different. However, Minnesota has been working on addressing the crisis for many years.

In 2019, Governor Tim Walz signed the Opiate Episode Response law. According to the Minnesota’s Department of Human Services website, “the bill secures sustainable funding to fight the opioid crisis.” It also founded the Opioid Epidemic Response Advisory Council that is able to directly develop and implement solutions to address Minnesota’s opioid epidemic.

Additionally, the Minnesota Department of Health launched the Minnesota Drug Overdose and Substance Use Pilot Surveillance System (MNDOSA) in November 2017. It is currently in a pilot phase, but they plan to continue to through August 2021. The system is in use at select hospitals and tracks admissions for intentional drug or substance use. It allows them to study the impact this crisis has on Minnesota hospitals and also efficiently identify new substances being used. Overall, they hope it will benefit their prevention efforts to identify who is most at-risk for substance abuse.

In terms of long-term solutions, Minnesota continues to focus on treatment programs as proven solution to the opioid epidemic. In 2017, the state received $6 million to expand their medication assisted-treatment. The FDA-approved drugs will help relieve withdrawal symptoms to help individuals overcome their addition. The funds were organized to be sent over the course of 3 years and have continued to show positive results in 2020.

If you or someone you know has been arrested for drug crimes, contact the experienced defense attorneys at F. Clayton Tyler. The legal system distinguishes between addicts and those who engage in illegal drug sales as a business enterprise. Our attorneys have successfully helped numerous users navigate the criminal justice system and get the treatment they need with minimal impacts on their criminal record. We also know that many users get caught up in dealing to support their own habits. Whatever your charge or the story behind it, our attorneys are ready to provide you experienced representation with straight talk and honest answers.