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Minnesota Substance Use Statistics And Addiction Treatment Options

Minnesota, The Land of 10,000 Lakes, offers residents a peaceful and engaging place to live, work and spend time with family. Despite this, far too many Minnesotans struggle with drug and alcohol use that harms lives and communities across the state.

Minnesota Substance Use Statistics

Minnesota men, young adults, and Native Americans experience higher rates of substance use disorders than other groups, as do individuals living in the northeast region of the state.

Minnesota is seeing the effects of the opioid epidemic that is sweeping much of the nation. These rising rates of substance use and overdose are fueled by heroin, prescription painkillers and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl.

Psychostimulants, such as methamphetamine and cocaine, and benzodiazepines, such as Valium and Xanax, are also frequently used in Minnesota.

Drug Overdose Deaths

Minnesota has experienced a fivefold increase in drug overdose deaths since 2000. While drug use and overdose derail the lives of people from every walk of life in Minnesota, certain population groups are exposed to this risk more heavily than others.

A 2018 Minnesota legislative report found that “Native American Minnesotans are five times as likely to die from a drug overdose as White Minnesotans, with African Americans being twice as likely to die from a drug overdose as White Minnesotans.” At this time, in these groups, this was the greatest difference in the rate of these drug overdose deaths in the entire country.

Many drugs can cause overdose, however, certain drugs cause fatal overdose more frequently. Opioids of all kinds, heroin, psychostimulants, benzodiazepines, and cocaine were listed by the Department of Health as drugs that caused high numbers of overdose deaths in the state. As of 2016, except for cocaine, overdose deaths from all of these drugs were on the rise.

In 2016 there were:

  • 395 deaths involving any type of opioid
  • 150 deaths involving heroin
  • 140 deaths involving a psychostimulant
  • 103 deaths involving a benzodiazepine
  • 44 deaths involving cocaine

Opioid Overdose Drug Deaths

From 2015 to 2016, the total number of opioid-involved deaths climbed 18 percent. This upward trend was largely due to an increasing number of deaths caused by heroin and synthetic opioids like fentanyl and tramadol. Specifically, during this time:

  • Heroin-related drug overdose deaths rose 32 percent.
  • Synthetic opioid-related deaths (such as those linked to fentanyl, carfentanil or tramadol) rose 83 percent.
  • Overdose deaths from methadone and prescription opioids (like codeine, hydrocodone, and oxycodone) remained stable during this period. Despite this, these drugs are extremely dangerous when used and frequently cause addiction and fatal overdose.

Based on recent research, experts believe that overdose death rates will rise 37 percent over the next decade in Minnesota. Opioid drugs like prescription painkillers and heroin are largely responsible for these tragedies, a trend that is expected to continue.

Alcohol Use

In early 2018, USA Today ranked Minnesota sixth among states with the highest alcohol use rates. This was largely based on a high rate of excessive alcohol use. Just over 21 percent of Minnesotans reported binge or heavy drinking, a number higher than the national average at that time of 18 percent.

Even though alcohol is legal, it’s still a drug. If a person isn’t careful, alcohol misuse can quickly develop into dependency and harmful patterns of an alcohol use disorder. Alcohol use includes binge drinking and heavy drinking, both behaviors that are problematic in Minnesota.

In Minnesota, the toll of alcohol use and addiction is great:

  • A 2015 report found that 5.5 percent of adults had an alcohol use disorder in the year previous.
  • Minnesota ranked fifth nationally for binge drinking rates.
  • In 2015, of the 286,000 individuals aged 12 or older who used or were dependent on alcohol, only 7.2 percent, or 22,000 people, received treatment.
  • Roughly 1,257 people lose their lives due to excessive alcohol use each year.
  • 24 percent off all motor vehicle accidents are linked to alcohol use.
  • In recent years, the cost of excessive alcohol use has cost the state from $3.5 billion to over $5 billion annually.

Alcohol use can deeply affect every part of a person’s life. Without treatment, a person’s health, relationships, and life are all in jeopardy.

Minnesota Substance Use Prevention Programs

After alcohol, in 2016, methamphetamine was the substance that people most frequently sought treatment for in Minnesota. As Minnesota confronts the opioid epidemic, compassionate and comprehensive treatment options and addiction prevention efforts are even more critical.

Minnesota is poised to fight the rising opioid epidemic and other forms of drug use head on. Supporting individuals, professionals, and communities in the fight against drug use help to save lives and heal the damage caused by addiction.

Minnesota addiction prevention programs include:

The Minnesota Prevention Resource Center

This organization provides resources and other forms of assistance to Minnesota groups and professionals who are fighting substance use. This initiative organizes training, events and community campaigns across the state to educate people on the risks and prevention of drug use.

Naloxone (Narcan) Access

The Minnesota legislature made Narcan, a life-saving opioid-overdose reversal drug, more available in 2016. Pharmacists can now prescribe this drug to people at risk of overdose or their loved ones without a prescription.
Finding a treatment program that offers research-based treatments is one of the best preventative and protective measures against addiction.

Minnesota Addiction Treatment Programs

Drug and alcohol use can poison a person’s body, causing serious illness and disease. In addition to the risk of fatal overdose, many of these conditions can be life-threatening.

Addiction treatment has grown to include many transformative services and therapies. From 12-step programs and evidence-based behavioral therapies to holistic treatments and medication-assisted treatment programs, the range of choices for addiction treatment in Minnesota is wide.

High-quality addiction treatment programs and therapies view treatment as a process that adapts to a person’s specific needs and life circumstances. Customizing treatment to a client’s unique needs can increase treatment participation and success rates.

Not every person will require every stage of treatment, but it is important to understand the role of each program and service plays in recovery. It’s also beneficial to talk to a trained addiction treatment specialist for guidance.

The following programs and services can help a person get to treatment, thrive while there and stay sober for the long-term.

Choosing A Professional Intervention

Using alcohol or drugs over a long period of time can change the way the brain works. From this, it can be difficult for a person to make decisions that are good for their physical and mental well-being. On top of this, many people can’t accept that they have a problem they can’t solve. A professional intervention can help a person overcome these issues.

A professional intervention is a service that provides compassionate yet firm guidance to help an individual to accept their need for treatment. An interventionist will plan the intervention, research and provide treatment options and arrange for the person to get to treatment.

Getting The Right Help: A Clinical Assessment

The best chance of personal growth, healing and long-term sobriety rest in individualized care. To deliver personalized services and increase the odds of positive treatment outcomes, a person’s life and history of substance use need to be evaluated. This process is called a clinical assessment.

A clinical assessment examines a person’s physical and mental health and the way they’ve been affected by substance use. This evaluation should also assess the level of chemical dependency to determine if a person needs detoxification services.

An assessment will likely include:

  • Diagnostic test
  • Physical exam
  • Review of past medical, mental health, legal or treatment issues
  • Interviews with close friends or family members

Once the addiction specialist has a full picture of a person’s life, health, and addiction, they can develop an individualized treatment plan.

Drug And Alcohol Detox Programs

The longer a person uses a drug, the greater the damage to their body and brain. One of the greatest physical changes that come from chronic drug use is dependence. When a person’s body is dependent on a drug, it can’t function normally without it. This is why a person has withdrawal symptoms if they suddenly stop using a substance.

A medically supervised drug and alcohol detox supports a person through withdrawal so that painful and uncomfortable symptoms are minimized or prevented. This is most commonly accomplished through medications. Methadone and buprenorphine (Suboxone) are used to treat individuals who are detoxing from heroin, prescription opioids or fentanyl.

Inpatient Drug And Alcohol Addiction Treatment Options

Minnesota inpatient addiction treatment participants live on-site for the duration of treatment. This sober environment offers round-the-clock support and protects them from triggers that could motivate a relapse.

Many people have deeply personal needs and goals they hope to address in treatment. High-quality treatment programs don’t just treat substance use; they address these issues by also teaching a person how to build stability and fulfillment in their life.

Outpatient Drug And Alcohol Addiction Treatment Options

Outpatient care can be a great resource during recovery. Sometimes, on its own, this form of care isn’t intensive enough for people with moderate to severe addictions. Instead, outpatient care can be a great tool for those who need to refresh their recovery skills or who would benefit from support while they transition from inpatient treatment to independent living.

Aftercare And Sober Living Options

Many Minnesota treatment programs provide their graduates with aftercare and alumni support. These services may include mentorship programs, peer support groups, recovery coaching, and inspirational resources to help a person stay sober.

After a person completes treatment, they need to incorporate the sober-living skills they learned into their daily life. Some people find this hard to do when they’re surrounded by the pressures and challenges of regular life. A sober living home may be a good alternative for these people.

These group homes sometimes referred to as halfway houses, provide a sober environment that supports personal development and recovery. Some of these homes provide options for families and people with children.

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Specialized Drug Rehab Programs

Minnesota drug rehab programs may offer specialized forms of care to meet the unique recovery needs of each patient.

Dual-Diagnosis Treatment Programs

Addiction and mental health disorders can be deeply intertwined. In many cases, one causes the other or makes symptoms of the other more severe. Sometimes this begins through self-medication, as a person drinks alcohol or takes drugs to cope with the symptoms of the mental illness. But unfortunately, as substance use continues, it frequently makes the disorder worse, which then leads to more drug use.

A dual diagnosis treatment program helps a person to recognize the ways the disorders are connected. Psychotherapy teaches a person more positive ways to think, healthy coping skills and habits of good self-care. These sessions help a person to heal and gain control over negative thoughts, emotions or behaviors which could feed either disorder.

Professional Or Executive Treatment Programs

Many people are hesitant to go-to treatment for fear of the impact it will have on their job or reputation. This is common among executives, licensed professionals or other individuals who have demanding careers. The good news is that a number of facilities provide treatment that allows a person to remain active in their career, while other programs offer services that accommodate the demands of professional life.

These tailored programs help a person develop skills that can benefit both their career and personal life. Leadership, communication, stress management, and team-building skills are all professional life skills that may be addressed during treatment.

Other addiction treatment programs may include:

  • Gender-specific treatment groups
  • LGBTQ-friendly
  • Luxury programs
  • child-friendly

Addiction Treatment Therapies Used In Minnesota

High-quality addiction treatment programs strive to reinvigorate a person’s health and life while also teaching transformative sober-living skills. To do this, many programs combine evidence-based treatments with alternative therapies that address overall wellness. This customized approach better ensures that a person’s body, mind, and spirit are all on the path to recovery.

Therapies may include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Dialectical behavior therapy
  • Motivational interviewing
  • 12-step groups
  • Medication-assisted treatment
  • Holistic therapies like acupuncture, massage, and yoga
  • Art or music therapy
  • Adventure or wilderness therapies
  • Equine therapy
  • Mindfulness and stress management practices

Minnesota Addiction Treatment Payment Options

Paying for treatment raises a lot of questions, but fortunately, there are numerous options besides private-pay that can help a person get treatment. Many drug rehab centers accept health insurance. In Minnesota, these may be provided by:

  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota
  • HealthPartners
  • Medica
  • PreferredOne Health Insurance

People who have Medicaid or Medicare may also be able to use their benefits to help pay for treatment.

If a person doesn’t have insurance or is still unsure about paying for treatment after their out-of-pocket contribution, other assistance may be available. Many facilities offer or accept scholarships and grants, sliding-fee scales or financing options.

Finding Addiction Treatment In Minnesota

People who are working to find sobriety in Minnesota have many treatment options that can help them to be safer, healthier and more successful while they recover.

When a person seeks treatment for a drug or alcohol addiction, they often look for treatment centers that are close to where they live. However, the program with the right combination of high-quality therapies to meet their unique needs might not be in their home state.

The benefits of being willing to travel for addiction treatment include:

  • More high-quality treatment programs than are available locally
  • Improved focus on treatment and removal from environmental triggers
  • Increased confidentiality

Vertava Health offers effective, compassionate treatment in several states across the country, and we can help people find the care they need—wherever they are.