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Mille Lacs Band head: Newborn opiate addiction is 'single greatest threat'

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Melanie Benjamin
Melanie Benjamin is chief executive of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, in a photo at Grand Casino Mille Lacs on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013.
MPR Photo / Conrad Wilson 2013

Native Americans make up less than 2 percent of Minnesota's population, but they account for 28 percent of the cases we see in this state of babies born addicted to opiates, including prescription painkillers and heroin.

It's enough of a crisis that the leader of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe gave the issue prominence this week in her State of the Band address. Chief Executive Melanie Benjamin called it the "single greatest threat to the future of the Mille Lacs Band."

Melanie Benjamin joins The Daily Circuit to discuss her address.