City: Duluth Saw Highest Number of Opioid Overdoses in 2020
DULUTH, Minn. – The city of Duluth saw the highest number of opioid-related overdoses in 2020, according to a Tuesday press release from city officials.
2020 reports state there was a total of 213 overdoses within city limits and preliminary numbers show there were 20 opioid-related deaths, pending toxicology reports.
In comparison, the city reported 106 overdoses in 2018 and 174 overdoses in 2019.
According to the press release, Duluth police administered Naloxone 64 times in 2020.
“Addiction is affecting communities all across the U.S.,” said Duluth Police Chief, Mike Tusken. “This is not a problem unique to Duluth. What is unique is how we are responding. We invest in people out in the field with boots on the ground. We meet people where they are at and are supportive in offering them timely assessment and treatment resources to give them hope in overcoming addiction. Our committed and passionate team will continue to work towards solving the scourge of addiction in our community, one life at a time, through innovative programs and a compassionate approach.”
To help address the opioid epidemic, in 2020 the DPD was awarded a grant in the amount of $899,055, which will fund the creation of the Lake Superior Diversion and Substance Use Response Team over a three-year period.
Over the next three years, the team will allow us to expand our focus to include methamphetamine, reduce delays in outreach and assessment, and provide services to a growing caseload.
“The City of Duluth is extremely grateful for the Duluth Police Department and the Lake Superior Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force for not only meeting people where they are at and helping them to overcome addiction but also in their abilities to investigate and remove drugs from our community,” Mayor Emily Larson said. “We are so proud to have creative and groundbreaking programs embedded in our police department that provide resources to help break the cycle of addiction, and we remain committed to continuing that work to improve the health and safety of all residents.”
If addiction is affecting you or someone you know, you can call the Opioid Response Technician at 218-391-9639.