Minnesota's Opioid Epidemic

Stories of addiction, loss and recovery amid a public health crisis that has hit epidemic proportions.
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Here's why Minnesota has a big problem with opioid overdoses
Deaths from opioid drug overdoses have hit epidemic proportions nationwide. In Minnesota, the struggle with prescription painkillers and illegal drugs has left communities across the state grieving for people whose deaths could have been prevented.
Opioids, a death and the story that never ran
“An unfinished story gives a reporter the same feeling you get when you can’t remember if you left a stove on, and the nagging box of medical records under my desk were an anxious, almost-constant reminder,” writes MPR News reporter Jon Collins.
She lost her fiance to painkillers and went on to fight for Narcan
Steve Rummler and Lexi Reed Holtum were high school sweethearts who went their own ways after graduation. Years later, they reunited, fell back in love and planned to marry. A prescription for opioid painkillers -- and later, addiction -- intervened.
He sold drugs to his own community; now he fights for redemption
James Cross used to sell drugs in Minneapolis and on northern Minnesota's Native American reservations. After more than two decades in and out of jail, he's working to support recovery and addiction programs in Native American communities.
Lawsuit accuses Anoka County of keeping withdrawal medication from jail inmate
On Feb. 12, 2022, Deyonta Green was found in his cell, covered in vomit, after an apparent fall. He was taken to a hospital, where doctors determined he had suffered a fractured skull, brain bleeds and acute kidney failure, according to the lawsuit.