2022 Minnesota overdose deaths hold steady

(ABC 6 News) – Overdose deaths have held steady between 2021 to 2022, according to data from the Minnesota Department of Health, after years of meteoric rises.

According to data from the MDH, overdose deaths leveled out in 2021 to 2022 with 1,356 to 1,343 deaths respectively. The MDH credits previous spikes in drug overdose deaths to the introduction of fentanyl to the state’s drug supply.

“We are responding to the more deadly threat of fentanyl with several new tools for saving lives that were passed by the Legislature in 2023,” said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Dr. Brooke Cunningham. “Such as expanding the availability of naloxone to covering the costs of having it on hand in school buildings, treatment programs and during emergency and law enforcement calls.”

The MDH estimated that, on average, about three Minnesotans died each day from a drug overdose in 2022.

However, the state has begun taking action to address this crisis. The 2023 One Minnesota Budget, included more than $200 million to address substance use overdoses by increasing availability of naloxone for emergency responders, schools and treatment programs.

In 2022, the MDH recorded nearly 13 nonfatal overdoses for every one overdose. About 69% of nonfatal overdoses receive treatment in emergency departments, 65% were the result of accidents or undetermined intent. However, the MDH also reported a small 5% decrease between 2021 to 2022 with 17,792 and 16,934 recorded overdoses statewide.