Skip to main content
Publish date:

There was a huge rise in deaths caused by the opioid fentanyl in Minnesota last year

The worrying statistic was confirmed by the health department.
Author:

An alarming surge in deaths linked to the synthetic opioid fentanyl were reported in Minnesota in 2017.

The Minnesota Department of Health released preliminary figures of overdose deaths last year and found a 74 percent rise in those caused by synthetic opioids.

Of the 172 synthetic opioid-related deaths, 156 them involved the use of fentanyl.

Fentanyl is a painkiller 50 times stronger than heroin, which was most notably behind the death of Prince in 2016.

Today's Top Stories

– Report of rampant daycare fraud sparks call for action.

– Allianz Field to host U.S. Men's National Soccer game.

– Sign up for our daily newsletters.

"This dramatic increase shows that the opioid epidemic in Minnesota has also become a fentanyl public health crisis," said Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm.

"These data confirm that Minnesotans addicted to opioids may unknowingly be exposing themselves to far greater and more deadly risks than they know.

"It is more important than ever for us to support Minnesotans in their efforts to seek help and treatment."

The MDH says the growth in fentanyl deaths is "outweighing progress in other areas," noting that prescription opioid and heroin deaths are down.

Overdose deaths overall rose from 675 in 2016 to 694 last year, mainly because of rising fentanyl fatalities.

Overdosing on prescription opioids and methadone is still the most common cause of opioid deaths in Minnesota, with 188 cases last year, but that's only 16 more than synthetic opioids, which have surged in the past three years.

Heroin deaths meanwhile dropped 29 percent between 2016-17.

Of the 694 statewide deaths, 438 happened in the 7-county metro area.

Next Up

Biden Minnesota visit stream screengrab - 11.30.31

What Biden said during his visit to Minnesota Tuesday

The president spoke at Dakota County Technical College.

Grand Marais

Cook County registers its first COVID-19 death of the pandemic

The sparsely populated, highly-vaccinated county has continuously had one of the lowest rates of COVID in the state.

Waits family screengrab CNN

Support for MN family after anti-maskers target child of school board chair

An online group opposing Kelsey Waits outed the child as transgender.

Pixabay - school - classroom

St. Paul schools add 2 days to winter break due to pandemic stress

The added days off are meant to acknowledge the stress the pandemic has caused.

Fardoussa Abdillahi

Charges: St. Cloud mother killed baby, placed him in dumpster

The 4-month-old baby was found by officers on Sunday morning.

ambulance

1 dead in crash at Lake Street intersection in south Minneapolis

There have been 465 deaths on Minnesota roads this year, according to the state's traffic division.

robbery

St. Paul restaurateur's businesses burglarized a 6th time

The owner of The Gnome and Hope Breakfast Bar is asking politicians to help St. Paul business owners.

North Memorial Air Care

Teen suffers life-threatening injuries in head-on crash in southern MN

The 18-year-old was airlifted to a Mayo Clinic hospital in Rochester.

foo fighters grohl mr rossi wikimedia

Foo Fighters abruptly cancel Gophers stadium show hours after announcing it

The band is looking for a new venue because of a disagreement over COVID protocols.

lush

LUSH in Minneapolis to reopen under new ownership in December

FOX 9's Jason Matheson and two popular performers are among the new owners of the revived bar and restaurant.

unsplash roller blade close

Lace up: Indoor skating returns to US Bank Stadium this winter

The venue announced 13 Winter Warm-Up dates for both skaters and runners.

Related

Screen Shot 2019-07-09 at 11.01.36 AM

Overdose deaths involving opioids, other drugs fell in MN last year

It's welcome news, but health officials say overdose rates are still at historic highs.

Opioid, suicide, alcohol deaths

Suicide and fatal opioid overdoses continue to rise in MN

The latest figures, covering 2017, shows a continuing trend.

Hospital errors rose in Minnesota last year, leading to 12 deaths

Figures from the Minnesota Department of Health show a rise in preventable deaths.

fentanyl pill

Statewide warning about fentanyl-laced pills that have already killed 1

The pills appear like legal oxycodone, but contain the deadly synthetic opioid.

Minnesota overdose death toll rises to 17 in past two weeks

There have been 175 overdoses in the past two weeks across the Twin Cities.

fentanyl

Drug overdose deaths increased by 20 percent last year after declining in 2018

Preliminary data show a substantial increase in overdose deaths, especially among synthetic opioids and psychostimulant drugs.

Man charged with murder for selling fentanyl that led to fatal OD

The 29-year-old had fentanyl powder in his house.