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Nonfatal drug overdoses increased during pandemic, say health officials

State health officials say Minnesota hospitals are reporting an upward trend in nonfatal overdoses, mirroring fatal overdose data.

The Minnesota Department of Health says there was an 18 percent increase in nonfatal, emergency department-treated drug overdoses in 2020 compared to 2019.

More than 14,000 Minnesotans were treated for an overdose at a hospital in 2020, according to MDH.  “In fact, in 2020, for every overdose death of a Minnesota resident, there were 14 nonfatal overdose deaths reported,” the agency said in a press release.

Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm stressed that the opioid epidemic continues to be pervasive and requires continuing response and prevention efforts.

State health officials are reminding the public that anyone can carry Naloxone, better known as Narcan, a medication that can be used to reverse the effects of opioids during an overdose.

Mankato has been the site of a number of drug overdoses both fatal and nonfatal in recent weeks.  The Minnesota River Valley Drug Task Force earlier this month warned residents of the prevalence of opioids, heroin, and fentanyl in the region.

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