Opioid State Plan - Minnesota Department of Health

MDH Response to Substance Use and Overdose Across Minnesota

Preventing substance use, misuse, and overdose in Minnesota requires all of us working together. MDH works with a variety of partners in their overdose prevention efforts:

Local Communities

  • Culturally-Specific Overdose Fatality Review (OFR) Teams

The aim of Culturally Specific OFR is to better understand the race rate disparity in drug overdose deaths in Minnesota and prevent future deaths. In Minnesota, African Americans are two times more likely to die of a drug overdose than whites, and American Indians are more than six times more likely to die of a drug overdose than whites.  For this strategy, there will be four culturally-specific Overdose Fatality Review teams: one East African African American, one American-born African American, and two American Indian specific.  The Overdose Fatality Review teams will summarize OFR lessons and disseminate recommendations to partner agencies.

  • Empowering individuals to make safe choice about opioids.

MDH Communications staff will update the MDH Opioid Dashboard, create and disseminate press releases, PSAs, and social media content regarding opioid overdose prevention and data. Develop "Stories from the Field" videos that features work being done in Minnesota to reduce opioid overdoses and highlights prevention efforts that reduce the risks of opioid use

  • Peer to peer technical assistance
  • Partner with Wright County and St. Louis County to support them in their development of a curriculum based in adult learning theory to assist other public health organizations in how to better understand substance use and create partnerships that lead to healthier communities. The two counties will recruit interested local public health agencies that have not begun to address substance use prevention and will share critical action steps they have used to advance their work to its current point. All agencies identify substance use differently in their community; this learning collaborative will be a place where Wright County and St. Louis County can openly share successes, barriers, approach methods, goals, and more. Initially, this curriculum will be offered in Minnesota, but they plan to expand nationwide.


  • Improve the functionality of Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PMP)

Provide funds to the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy to enhance the functionality of the PMP to include additional types of proactive reporting, fully automated new account registration and re-verification, improve intrastate and interstate interoperability; integrate access to the PMP database with electronic health records (EHR) systems in Minnesota.

Syringe Service Programs (SSPs)

  • Syringe Services Programs (SSPs) Linkages to Care

Provide funding to Minnesota’s Syringe Service Programs to enhance linkage to care for chemical health, infectious disease, mental health, and basic needs care.  All SSP Linkage to Care grantees will enhance existing pathways to care, create new pathways to care, and provide immediate point-of-care linkage for SSP clients.  There will be a Twin Cities Linkage to Care team and three Greater MN Linkage to Care sites.

  • Syringe Services Programs (SSPs) naloxone distribution

Provide Syringe Service Programs with naloxone to distribute to participants who use opioids.

Department of Corrections

  • Department of Corrections Linkages to Care

Provide funds to Department of Corrections to link incarcerated Minnesotans in the state prison system who have been diagnosed with opioid use disorder with culturally responsive treatment linkage and long-term recovery planning in their region upon release.

Health Care Systems and Providers

  • Tackling Opioid Use With Networks (TOWN)

Continue to support eight TOWN sites and expand to four new rural sites. The TOWN model, a community-clinic linkage to care model originally developed by Drs. Heather Bell and Kurt Devine at St. Gabriel’s Health in Little Falls, MN integrates prevention and treatment strategies at the clinic and in the surrounding community to: (1) create coordinated clinical care teams, (2) improve the prescribing culture by providing education to providers and pharmacists on appropriate opioid and naloxone prescribing and dispensing, (3) increase coordination across community sectors and reduce treatment gaps for individuals with OUD by strengthening partnerships with law enforcement and other community sectors, and (4) increase referrals for needed services by bringing together interdisciplinary and interagency teams to be represented in each community task force.

MDH will evaluate the impact of this funding on eight sites’ ability to prevent opioid misuse and overdose using the Tackling Opioid Use With Networks (TOWN) model.

  • Health Care Providers and Health Systems Support

Contract with Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA) to host additional “Buprenorphine Boot Camps” to provide training for becoming MAT-waivered and implementing a medication assisted treatment (MAT) program in their clinic or practice. Contract with Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI) to create a “MAT Best Practices Hub” to provide tools, resources, and training for existing MAT-waivered providers, and to inspire new providers to become MAT-waivered.

Medical Examiners/Coroners

First Responders (Emergency Medical Services and Law Enforcement)

  • MDH has partnered with Minnesota’s eight Emergency Medical Services (EMS) regions to implement three components:
  1. Emergency Department (ED) Linkage to Care will implement Peer Recovery Specialist (PRS) services (treatment linkage, recovery support) for non-fatal overdose patients in partnering emergency departments (EDs).
  2. EMS Linkage to Care will support linkage to substance use disorder treatment and recovery support through follow-up visits with individuals who have interacted with partnering Emergency Medical Services agencies due to non-fatal drug overdose.
  3. Overdose Fatality Review (OFR) teams will be created in each region. The goal of each OFR is to understand the conditions of one person’s overdose death to prevent future overdose deaths.
  • MDH has partnered with the EMS Regional Directors to provide naloxone and training to first responders throughout the State of Minnesota.
  • Partner with law enforcement and EMS across the state to increase widespread use of ODMap in order to improve understanding of overdose 'hot spots' in real time. Additionally, MDH will partner with and support five geographically diverse communities throughout in their use of the real-time overdose detection system to inform their overdose response strategies at the community level. These community strategies will build on comprehensive cross-sector partnerships at a minimum between public health, public safety, and behavioral health.
  • Partner with one law enforcement agency to implement linkage to substance use disorder treatment and recovery support through follow-up visits with individuals who have interacted with law enforcement due to non-fatal drug overdose.


Overdose Data To Action (OD2A)

Origin of funds: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Project period: September 1, 2019 through August 31, 2022
Total funds $3,970,647 per year are to implement activities within the following strategies areas provided by the CDC

Treatment and Linkage to Care across Minnesota (TLC)

Origin of funds: Federal Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) through Minnesota BCA
Project period: October 1, 2019 through September 30, 2022

ODMAP Statewide Expansion and Response

Origin of funds: BJA, CDC
Project period: September 1, 2019 through December 31, 2022
Total funds: $450,000

Partnership with Regional EMS

Origin of funds: SAMHSA
Project period: Present through September 2020
Total funds: $270,000



Updated Friday, 10-Dec-2021 12:44:06 CST