Coming together to tackle opioids

Sheriff’s Office leads drug-abuse prevention efforts

Sheriff’s Office leads drug-abuse prevention efforts

Hennepin County had a record number of opioid-related deaths in 2016. By the end of the year, there were 153 deaths, a 39 percent increase from 2015. Every opioid-related death is tragic and every one is preventable.

In response to this crisis, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office launched a yearlong drug abuse-prevention campaign called #NOverdose. The campaign focuses on:

  • Educating parents and youth about current drug dangers and trends
  • Prevention and treatment in partnership with schools and families, law enforcement agencies, elected officials, businesses and health and community organizations

Wayzata High School hosted the first #NOverdose educational event in March with 250 people in attendance. Over half of the audience raised their hand when asked if they had a family member, friend, or neighbor affected by opioid addiction.

Reversing an overdose

Hennepin County Sheriff’s deputies carry Narcan, a brand name of naloxone, a medication used to stop an overdose from heroin or other opiates like Percocet and Oxycontin. Deputies have used naloxone nine times since May of 2014 to help reverse an opioid overdose.

Anyone can get naloxone without a prescription at the Hennepin County Public Health Clinic for themselves, friends or family members. Ask the receptionist or any clinic staff for naloxone. They will ask you a few questions, but will not report names or addresses to anyone.

What to do with unused medicine

Safely disposing of unused medicine helps prevent abuse and poisoning. Flushing medicine or throwing it in the trash can contaminate water, harm wildlife, and pollute drinking water.

Find out where to safely dispose of medicine at