Minnesota has some of the greatest lakes in the United States. It also offers its residents an engaging and peaceful place to work and live. However, many of these people struggle with alcohol and drug abuse and addiction - problems that continue harming their lives and those of others around them.
The problem of substance abuse and addiction is widespread among the teens of the state. However, people between the ages of 18 and 25 years also struggle with abnormally high rates of drug and alcohol addiction.
Apart from methamphetamine and opioids, some of the substances that are most commonly abused by teens in Minnesota include prescription drugs, synthetic drugs, ecstasy or MDMA, and inhalants.
The residents of the state have also been threatened by the distribution and transportation of various illicit drugs through the region. This is not surprising that it shares its northern border with Canada and Lake Superior is located towards the east. These borders allow drug traffickers and sellers the opportunities that they need to pass drugs through the state as well as sell them within.
The problem is further compounded by the 13 ports of entry that exist within Minnesota. Since only 3 of these ports are patrolled around the clock, it is not exactly news that substances of abuse find their way into the state.
Among its residents, the populations that suffer the highest rates of drug abuse and addiction include Native Americans, young adults, and men. This is also true for the people who live within Minnesota's northeastern region.
In 2016, cocaine was involved in 44 deaths, benzodiazepines to 103 deaths, and psychostimulants to a total of 140 deaths. Opioids, including but not limited to heroin, were responsible for 545 fatalities.
The opioid epidemic devastating the rest of the United States has also not left Minnesota untouched. The state has been witnessing an increase in the rates of opioid abuse and addiction - which often leads to problems such as opioid use disorder, drug overdose, comas, and deaths. Most of these drugs include synthetic opioids (such as fentanyl and its analogs), heroin, and legal prescription pain relief medications.
Since 2000, the state has witnessed a 5-fold increase in the total number of overdose deaths linked to these substances. Although overdose and substance abuse can cause havoc in the lives of the people that it touches, there are certain segments of the local population that seem to have a higher risk of suffering from these problems.
Drug overdose can also be caused by many different substances of abuse. however, fatalities arising from overdose tend to be linked to opioids. In 2016, for instance, Minnesota lost 395 lives to an opioid related overdose and 150 lives to a heroin overdose.
The state has been bracing itself against the rising numbers of drug abuse and addiction cases - as well as the related overdose and death situations that have been plaguing its residents. Today, there are a number of high quality addiction treatment and rehabilitation programs as well as overdose reversal departments charged with fighting against the drug and alcohol problem in Minnesota.