Opioid Information

Mille Lacs County Opioid Settlement

On August 20, 2021, the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office joined the historic $26 billion multi-state settlement agreements with pharmaceutical distributors McKesson, Cardinal Health, and AmerisourceBergen, and opioid manufacturer Johnson & Johnson. This settlement is structured over 18 years and will bring $1,920,498.69 to Mille Lacs County. A second wave of settlements involving Teva, Allergan, Walgreens, Walmart, and CVS is currently in litigation. The anticipated amount for this 15-year settlement will be $1,563,194.90.

Mille Lacs County’s expected total settlement award is $3,483,693.59

For more detailed background on the multi-district litigation (MDL), visit the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office – Fighting the Opioid Epidemic

Nonfatal Drug Overdose Dashboard - MN Dept. of Health (state.mn.us)

Opioid Data

Opioid Related Deaths (PNG)

Overdose Rates (PNG)

The Minnesota Department of Health dashboard contains detailed information on overdose deaths, opioid-related hospital visits, the number of opioid prescriptions dispensed, the prevalence of substance use disorder, and more.

Opioid data for the State of Minnesota: 

https://www.health.state.mn.us/communities/opioids/opioid-dashboard/index.html

Opioid data for Mille Lacs County: https://www.health.state.mn.us/communities/opioids/countyprofiles/millelacs.html

Community Survey 

Thank you for your input on how we can best serve this community with our Opioid Settlement funds. Please click the link below to review our survey results. 

Opioid Settlement Community Survey Results

Minnesota Opioid Settlement Memorandum of Agreement

According to the Minnesota Opioids State-Subdivision Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), the Public Health departments shall serve as the lead agency and Chief Strategist to identify, collaborate, and respond to local issues as Local Governments decide how to leverage and disburse Opioid Settlement Funds. An Opioid Settlement Advisory Group (a multi-sector team) will advise the Mille Lacs County Board of Commissioners on how to spend the funds effectively, efficiently, and equitably.

Questions? Email opioids@millelacs.mn.gov

Opioid Settlement funds must be directed to support the Mille Lacs County Community

Mille Lacs County Opioid Settlement Project Awards

Freedom Center

Freedom Center provides outpatient substance use disorder (SUD) treatment to adults and adolescents. They offer day and evening groups to meet individual needs in the local area. Freedom Center also offers domestic abuse classes, gambling treatment, and assessments for substance use disorder (SUD), gambling, anger management and domestic violence. 

Freedom Center was awarded funding to support a Peer Recovery Position to facilitate fast and direct access to treatment and to coordinate and provide transportation to MAT (Medication Assisted Treatment) appointments with local providers.

https://freedomcenterinc.org

Wellness in the Woods

Wellness in the Woods is Minnesota’s largest peer run organization that serves the entire state of Minnesota with a warm line and virtual peer support. This Recovery Community Organization also offers special evening zoom sessions around substance use support.

Funding was awarded to Wellness in the Woods to provided Peer Support to incarcerated individuals that are dealing with substance use challenges. This Peer will help to lead recovery groups, mentoring, goal setting, sharing resources and building skills to help increase their success once they return to the community. Wellness in the Woods will also provide community narcan trainings and substance use education in the Mille Lacs County community.

Please reach out to us at opioids@millelacs.mn.gov if you would like to request a narcan training.

Mille Lacs Health System

Mille Lacs Health System is a critical access rural hospital and clinic system serving rural communities in central Minnesota, primarily Mille Lacs County. They serve an estimated 20,000 year-round residents and many thousands of visitors to the area. Mille Lacs Health System is in their 67th year as a community non-profit hospital system.

In 2018, Mille Lacs Health System introduced its Addiction Recovery Program, which uses medication assisted treatment for people struggling with substance use issues. Mille Lacs Health Systems’ certified medical providers offer a safe, confidential place for people with substance use issues to get help. At Mille Lacs Health System, practitioners know that addiction is treatable, and success can be achieved when individuals take an active role in their recovery.

Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) is the use of medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a “whole patient” approach to the treatment of substance use disorders. Medication Assisted Treatment in the Addiction Recovery program is designed for individuals with substance use disorders. These substances include Opioids, Alcohol, Heroin, Methamphetamines, Cocaine, and Kratom.

Funding was awarded to Mille Lacs Health System to expand access to these services with the addition of Automated Dispensing Cabinets to provide safe, secure and automatically recorded medication dispensing on site at their Onamia, Milaca and Isle clinic locations.

For more information about this program, please visit their website at:

https://www.mlhealth.org/about/news/addiction-recovery-care-mlhs

Mille Lacs County Jail

Funding was provided to support Electronic Health Records Software. Electronic records will increase patient safety to those in custody experiencing adverse effects of opioid withdrawal. This software will increase efficiency by providing the ability to share electronic records with medical and treatment facilities. It will also streamline the process when moving inmates into treatment upon release.

New Freedom

New Freedom’s treatment approach is based on experience and research that indicates substance use and mental health disorders are chronic, primary and progressive illnesses, which can be managed. That having a substance use or co-occurring disorder is not an identity. That those who suffer can be helped by abstinence from mood altering chemicals, changing one’s lifestyle, developing a clear understanding of the relationship between their addictive and mental health issues, medication management and developing more effective coping mechanisms in mind, body and spirit.  Treatment provides an opportunity for the client to discover and use the resources within themselves, and in their respective communities.  The atmosphere and professional guidance assists in that process. New Freedom’s belief does not support a confrontational approach to the treatment of substance use or co-occurring disorders. 

New Freedom was awarded funding to support a Peer Recovery Position or Treatment Coordinator to assist in swift admission to treatment, follow up appointments for MAT (Medication Assisted Treatment) and coordination of care before, during and after treatment. 

https://newfreedominc.org/

Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s Office

The Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s Office has been on the street level of the opioid crisis for years. They are heavily involved in criminal justice side of the opioid crisis and have made hundreds of arrests for possession and sales of narcotics, including opioids. Officers are also administering narcan when responding to individuals experiencing an overdose.

In 2023, Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s Office responded to approximately 1,368 calls involving people in crisis. Many of the people in crisis with mental illness are also suffering with opioid or other substance addiction.

To develop a more proactive approach in addressing individuals in crisis, funding was provided to support a Co-Responder Position. This trained staff will provide on-scene mental health support, problem identification, crisis intervention, and treatment planning. This trained staff member will increase safety for the individual in crisis, the community, and law enforcement. They will connect with emergency services, human services and other community resources to provide support once the crisis is de-escalated. This follow-up support will also help to reduce the incidence of future crisis for the individual. Co-Responder positions have been utilized in surrounding counties with great success.