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Report finds treatment for heroin, meth addiction at all-time high in Twin Cities

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A new report on drug use in the Twin Cities shows methamphetamine is resurgent, while heroin and other opiates maintain a hold on the region, as well.

The report from the group Drug Abuse Dialogues looked at data from 2014 in Hennepin and Ramsey counties.

It found heroin users made up more than 14 percent of those admitted to treatment programs, and meth addiction comprised nearly 12 percent of the total. Both of those figures are new records.

Meth use in Minnesota reached an epidemic level a decade ago. As WCCO notes, a 2005 law restricting access to the ingredients used by meth labs led overdoses and convictions to plummet.

But Carol Falkowski, the author of the Drug Abuse Dialogues report, says meth use has been creeping upward again since 2009.

Wahsington County Attorney Pete Orput tells WCCO the meth now being smuggled into Minnesota from Mexico is five times stronger and far more addictive than what homegrown drug labs were making a decade ago.

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Falkowski has been tracking drug abuse trends in Minnesota since 1986 and formerly led the alcohol and drug abuse division of the Department of Human Services.

One of the biggest statistical jumps identified in her new report is the amount of meth seized by law enforcement authorities in Ramsey County. It jumped from 16 pounds in 2013 to 128 pounds last year.

MPR News notes the number of deaths caused by heroin overdoses in Hennepin County fell from a record high of 132 down to 102, perhaps in part because of the availability of the anti-overdose drug Narcan.

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