Minnesota Native News Special Edition: Responding to the Opioid Crisis in MN Native Communities
image credit: MN Department of Human Services, May 2016

Minnesota Native News Special Edition: Responding to the Opioid Crisis in MN Native Communities


For over a decade, the prescription pain killer and heroin abuse crisis has had a hold on communities across the U-S. Opioid overdoses tripled between 2000 and 2015.

In 2015, Minnesota had more American Indians dying from overdoses than any other state. That same year, well over half of pregnant Native women gave birth to babies with opioids in their systems.

Many American Indians in Minnesota are wrestling with how best to help people heal from the addiction and the historical trauma at the root of this crisis.

Over this hour, reporter Melissa Townsend explores the unique nature of addiction in Native communities, and how it is – or is not – shaping a response to the current crisis.