The opioid epidemic has gotten worse in Hennepin County during COVID-19. From January through August 2020, there have been 181 opioid related deaths. In 2019, there were 160.
The increase in opioid deaths is happening nationally as well. Millennium Health’s analysis of 500,000 urine drug tests showed a 32% increase in nonprescribed fentanyl and a 13% increase in heroin between March and May 2020.
The COVID pandemic has made life harder for people with substance use disorders.
Hennepin County has remained focused on opioids despite COVID-19. All essential health services are still in operation, including naloxone distribution and needle exchange. Hennepin County’s Health Care for the Homeless and Public Health Clinics are still serving patients. Hennepin County detox and treatment providers are still working, using telemedicine so that people can safely access group, clinic, and medical treatments.
The Red Door Clinic offers clean needles and other supplies at no cost. You can drop off used needles at the same time as you pick up clean ones. The Red Door Clinic also offers naloxone (Narcan), a medication that can prevent an opioid overdose. You do not need to call ahead for service. Services hours are: Mondays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Wednesdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Fridays from 1 to 4 p.m.
The Sheriff’s Office offers online training on how to properly give naloxone. To schedule a training, email email@example.com.
Safely dispose of unused medicines at a medicine drop box in Hennepin County. The Sheriff’s Office can also mail you a medical disposal bag (Deterra bag) you can use at home. To use a Deterra bag, just open the bag, toss in the unused pills, add water, shake, and place it in the trash. You can watch an instructional video here. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to have a medicine disposal bag mailed to your house.
More Hennepin County treatment resources:
DHS approved 2/3/2021, HC-1142-MC