News release: MDH receives funding for improved opioid tracking and prevention work

News Release
July 19, 2017

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MDH receives funding for improved opioid tracking and prevention work

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Wednesday that the Minnesota Department of Health has received a $345,000 grant to better track and prevent opioid-involved overdoses.

The Minnesota award was part of a larger CDC announcement that it is awarding $12 million to 23 states and the District of Columbia.

“Providing more comprehensive and timely data to law enforcement, public health officials, treatment providers and the public will help Minnesota identify hot spots and better focus our prevention efforts,” said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Dr. Ed Ehlinger.

The funds will support MDH’s ongoing Data-Driven Prevention Initiative (DDPI) work, also funded through a CDC grant. The initiative includes improving the department’s ability to do field work to monitor the opioid crisis and to set up an opioid data dashboard. The dashboard will be a one-stop shop for all opioid-related data, with patient data privacy protections The dashboard is expected to launch this August.

“More than 500 Minnesotan died from an opioid overdose in 2015; a 600 percent increase since 2000. These Minnesotans were our friends, our neighbors, and our family members. We won’t forget them – our Administration is committed to tackling this epidemic. We have worked with the Legislature to improve the availability of naloxone, reform substance abuse treatment, provide additional resources for treatment programs, and develop a statewide substance abuse strategy,” said Lt. Governor Tina Smith, who leads the Administration’s efforts to address opioid abuse. “But we know more must be done to tackle Minnesota’s opioid epidemic. I thank our federal Congressional Delegation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for this grant, which will help Minnesota better track and prevent opioid abuse. We must continue building on this progress next session.”

The dashboard will include information about the following topics:

  • Opioid overdose deaths
  • Nonfatal overdoses
  • Prescribing practices
  • Supply and diversion
  • Co-Occurring conditions
  • Social determinants of health

MDH will be pulling together data from multiple sources and from partner agencies such as the Minnesota Department of Human Services, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety and the Drug Enforcement Agency.


Media inquiries:

Scott Smith
MDH Communications