In April 2018, the Mayor’s Multi-Jurisdictional Task Force on Opioids met for the first time and was organized into four Sub-Committees: Prevention; Treatment, Recovery and Peer Support; Community Systems Integration; and Child Protection and Criminal Justice Sub-Committee. These sub-committees made 18 recommendations including 51 Action Steps.
See summary of the recommendations in the Mayor’s Recommended 2020 Budget.
Some of the recommendations from the Task Force are being addressed by Hennepin County’s Opioid Prevention Strategic Framework. Specifically, the Hennepin County Jail and Hennepin County Adult Correctional Facility is helping people inside the facilities who are dealing with addiction.
Includes Primary Prevention such as preventing people from using opioids to begin with). Secondary Prevention is working with opioid users to help them stop. Tertiary Prevention is working with opioid users to make sure they are as safe as can be in their circumstances. All strategies with an eye to youth and cultural relevancy.
Treatment, Recovery and Peer Support
The focus of the recommendations in this area are two-fold: Increase the availability/access to treatment and improve the flow between treatment, aftercare, and recovery services.
Community Systems Integration
This sub-committee was focused on all the systems a person might encounter during their opioid use and in their pursuit of treatment and recovery. The recommendations in this area ensure that these systems communicate with each other and that the user can seamlessly move among the systems. Recommendations are focused on the treatment system, hospitals, public health, enforcement, housing, and corrections.
Child Protection and Criminal Justice Reform
More needs to be done to understand the impact of the opioid epidemic on infants and children. Informal reports indicate that the opioid epidemic is creating a new set of challenges for the child protective and correctional system. Who is affected and how they are affected are two questions that need to be answered. Recommendations here are about asking the questions and seeking the data to answer the questions. Developing a dashboard, providing cultural training and providing services for pregnant women addicted to opioids are key.
Mayor’s Recommended 2020 Budget
The Mayor recommends $105,000 in on-going funding and $300,000 in one-time funding to the Health Department to support the City's response to the opioid crisis. Funding will provide resources for the design and implementation of a hospital and community-based program (similar to Next Step) that will be implemented in conjunction with non-profit partners, Hennepin Health, the Minneapolis Police Department, the Minneapolis Fire Department, and Emergency Medical Services. Individuals admitted to the emergency room due to an opioid related incident would be connected to culturally relevant support staff and resources including patient recovery for up to one year. Funding is also being allocated to address the immediate and ongoing public health hazard caused by used syringe litter.
The Task Force action steps the Mayor’s proposed funding would help implement:
- Syringe litter or needle pick-up.
- Create a program like the Next Step initiative with a focus on people who have overdosed.
- Homeless Community Navigator within the Minneapolis Police Department (a civilian position).
The Task Force action steps that Hennepin County is helping to implement:
- Hennepin County is supporting people who are leaving incarceration so that they can continue Medications for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD) and Medically Assisted Treatment (MAT) while in and after prison/jail and are providing naloxone kits and training upon release.
- Hennepin County and the State of Minnesota have created and distributed educational materials for medical professionals who dispense opioids.
- Hennepin County has drop boxes to safely dispose of unused medicines at one of the medicine drop boxes.
If you have questions about the City’s work to address the opioid crisis or if you’d like to share feedback on the City’s work on this front, please contact City staff member Suzanne Young at 612-358-4167 or via email at Suzanne.Young@minneapolismn.gov.