Heroin deaths fall in Minneapolis, but cheap highs present problem for police


The number of people dying from heroin overdoses in Minneapolis and the surrounding area fell by almost 11 percent in 2014, according to the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office.

The Sheriff said there were 50 deaths in the county as a result of heroin, compared to 56 in 2013, which was the county's deadliest year on record.

But considering just eight people died from a heroin overdose in 2010, the Sheriff's Office said there is still a long way to go to get a proper grip on the problem.

One of the main issues facing authorities is that heroin in the Twin Cities is "inexpensive and has one of the highest purity levels in the U.S.," a combination that is contributing to overdose deaths as users can get their hands on cheap, but powerful narcotics.

"This is a step in the right direction," Sheriff Rick Stanek said. "But there is still a substantial amount of work to be done in order to combat this trend.

"Even one life lost to heroin is too many, which is why we will continue aggressive enforcement efforts along with community outreach focused on education and prevention."

WCCO reports that the rise in heroin use seen since 2010 is linked to the abuse of opiate-based painkillers like Vicodin and OxyContin, which can lead users to heroin once prescriptions run out.

Next Up

coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2

Minnesota confirms America's 1st case of Brazil P.1 COVID strain

The strain was found in a Twin Cities metro resident who recently traveled to Brazil.


Gov. Walz announces education plan aimed at eliminating disparities

The plan covers seven categories, including closing the racial education gap and improving opportunities in rural Minnesota

Tax forms

Charges: Otsego cleaning business underreported sales

An Otsego woman is accused of owing more than $20,500 in sales tax, penalties and interest.

Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 2.58.26 PM

Walz gives vaccine providers 3-day, 7-day deadlines to use doses

Those that don't use their allocation will be given less in the future.


Border officers seize more than $550K in counterfeit designer goods

The shipments of fake goods were seized on Jan. 22.

Landfill plastic bags

4 Twin Cities landfills seek to expand capacity

This comes as the area's waste-to-energy facilities are operating at capacity.

Marcus Carr

3 of 10 finalists for NCAA's top point guard award have MN ties

Not a bad way to represent the State of... Basketball?

Justice, court

Minnesota grants unconditional pardon to grandmother facing deportation

Gov. Tim Walz says it's the first full pardon granted by the state in 35 years.

covid-19, vaccine

Minnesota changes vaccine appointment process, here's what to know

Walz also announced plans for a mass vaccination event at Xcel Energy Center.

covid-19, coronavirus

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, Jan. 25

The latest figures from MDH have been released.

covid-19, vaccine

Minnesota health leaders say state's vaccine progress better than figures suggest

Minnesota is lagging behind national vaccination rates, but MDH leaders say this is because it's holding 2nd doses in reserve.