Ramsey County Forms Coalition to Address Opioid Epidemic
Sheriff's Department partners with Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge
Due to continued increases in opioid-related deaths in the area, the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office has partnered with Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge to address the devastating public health crisis. Together, the two organizations have created a coalition aiming to reduce opioid-related deaths and educate the public about the risks of opioid use.
The coalition will be led by Know the Truth, the substance-use prevention program of Minnesota Adult & Teen Challenge, and consists of law enforcement, community leaders, government workers, and local advocates, who convene monthly to plan events and messaging for the community.
Ramsey County Overdose Report
- The rate of opioid-related overdoses and deaths in Ramsey County increased again in 2017, showing the continued need to address the issue
- Last year, Ramsey County saw 72 opioid-related deaths, a 16 percent increase since 2016, and 112 total overdoses
- Neighboring Hennepin County recently reported 162 opioid-related deaths in 2017, an increase of six percent from 2016. From 2015 to 2016, opioid-related deaths increased by 58 percent, from 97 to 153. However, per capita, Ramsey County accounted for more opioid-related deaths in the state.
County Sheriff Jack Serier says, “It is so important for us as a community to wrap around those who are suffering with addiction and help them restore a path to a meaningful and healthy life.”
The campaign developed by the Ramsey County Coalition is sponsored by SiebenCarey Personal Injury Law. Their support will help promote awareness of the campaign and the creation of resource cards for officers and individuals struggling with substance use.
Jim Carey, partner at SiebenCarey, says, “Because we see the devastation of substance use in our daily work, we want to be part of the solution by spreading a message that prevents this trend from growing.”
About Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge
Minnesota Adult & Teen Challenge (MnTC) is a drug and alcohol treatment and recovery program that has been in operation since 1983. With 11 locations throughout the state, MnTC offers a full range of services including long-term recovery and short-term intensive treatment programs as well as extensive prevention services through the organization’s program, Know the Truth (KTT). Each year, Know the Truth speaks in more than 160 high schools and middle schools across the state, sharing personal stories of addiction with students to help prevent substance use.
Know the Truth community engagement manager, Tracee Anderson, says, “The sheriff’s office has partnered with us to work towards solutions. We are going to move from talking about the problem to developing solutions through education, prevention and intervention.”
The Ramsey County coalition has created a campaign called Not Another Overdose, which includes prevention events, community messaging and a PSA which will be shown at local movie theaters. The campaign works at the community level to ensure resources and education are available to the general public.
County Sheriff Jack Serier says, “Helping people with addiction is a community wide issue. No one can overcome it alone. We are asking everyone to help in this commitment to healthier communities.”