Opioid deaths, suicide reach record levels in Minnesota

Published 8:23 am Wednesday, March 20, 2019

ST. PAUL — State data shows the number of deaths from opioids and suicides in Minnesota reached record levels in 2017.

The Minnesota Department of Health says 783 people took their own lives in 2017, a 5 percent increase from the previous year. There were 422 deaths from opioid overdoses, a 12 percent increase from 2016.

State officials have set goals of reducing suicides by 10 percent in 2020 and 20 percent in 2025.

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The Minnesota House passed a bill to address the state opioid crisis on Monday. It would support a wide range of prevention, education, intervention, treatment and recovery strategies. The state would pay for them by sharply raising its annual registration fees for pharmaceutical manufacturers and drug wholesalers that sell or distribute opioids in Minnesota.