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Decline in Minnesota opioid deaths in 2018, says preliminary data

(St. Paul, MN) – Preliminary data shows that overall drug overdose deaths decreased in Minnesota in 2018 compared to the previous year.

The Minnesota Department of Health says overdose deaths dropped by 17%, from 733 deaths in 2017 to 607 in 2018.

A decrease in heroin deaths and death that involved prescription opioids were key factors in the decline.  There were 422 opioid deaths in 2017, compared to 331 in 2018, a 22% decline.  There was a 32% decrease in prescription opioid deaths, and a 23% decrease in heroin deaths from 2017 to 2018.

The decrease is only the second decline since 2000 in a rising trend of opioid-involved deaths if the preliminary numbers hold true.  The number of deaths could fluctuate as death certificates from other states trickle into MDH.

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