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OPIOIDS

Minnesota has reached several other settlements with opioid companies over the last two and a half years that have brought the state hundreds of millions of dollars.
Last year had twice as many deaths as the state saw 10 years ago, and numbers have climbed significantly since 2018 when there were just over 600.
Naloxone is essential to keeping people alive and ending the trend of opioid overdose deaths.
Acute and chronic pain are unrelated and must be treated as such, says author of new book on the complexity of chronic pain and the need for a multispecialty, non-opioid model of chronic pain treatment.

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Fentanyl has taken root in Montana and in communities across the Mountain West during the pandemic, after formerly being prevalent mostly east of the Mississippi River, said Keith Humphreys of the Stanford-Lancet Commission on the North American Opioid Crisis. Montana law enforcement officials have intercepted record numbers of pale-blue pills made to look like prescription opioids such as OxyContin. Nationwide, at least 103,000 people died from drug overdoses in 2021, a 45% increase from 2019, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 7 of every 10 of those deaths were from synthetic opioids, primarily fentanyl.
Counties and cities are set to receive 75 percent of the funding, while the state will see 25 percent. The money is set to be used for response to the opioid epidemic and its fallout.
The pharmacies are accused of giving cash handouts to keep customers coming back, and one allegedly distributed its own currency, “monkey bucks,” inspired by a pet monkey that was once a common sight behind the counter.
West-central Minnesota health system is implementing an easy reference guide for physicians and information for patients about managing acute pain without using opioid pain medications. Often, the first line of treatment is over-the-counter painkillers, which doctors say are more effective than people think.
Overdose rescue medications do not require a prescription and can be located at nearby locations found on a new Naloxone Finder web page.
"Growth in the health care industry is something which gives us security in rural areas, but it’s also an indicator of rising cancer rates, opioids, violence."

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With the legalization last summer of fentanyl test strips, the Minnesota Department of Health has coordinated funds for the distribution of kits allowing users to steer clear of a deadly synthetic opioid.

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