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Tougher law, new resources add to fight against synthetic drugs

As a tougher state law against synthetic drugs goes into effect this month, Minnesotans also have a new website to get factual information about the dangers and risks posed by the deadly substances.

KnowTheDangers.com is designed to provide resources and information for parents, youth, educators, health care professionals and others who may encounter synthetic drugs. Visitors to KnowTheDangers.com can learn what types of substances, packaging and paraphernalia to look for, as well as what effects these drugs may have and how to reach out for help. The website is optimized for mobile and tablet devices. More information is available in a news release.

Minnesota takes key steps in fight against opiate abuse

Efforts to curb a wave of prescription drug abuse and addiction to other opiates marked the first full year of the Minnesota State Substance Abuse Strategy. Minnesota met the strategy's immediate goals to increase education for physicians and other front-line professionals about treatments for opioid dependence, how abuse of opioid-based prescription drugs can lead to addiction to other opiates like heroin and how to reverse an opiate overdose. More information is in a  news release about the substance abuse strategy's first-year report .

Report shows 2012 substance abuse treatment outcomes

In January 2014 DHS released Chemical Dependency Provider Performance Measures 2012 (PDF), which shows addiction treatment outcomes for all of Minnesota and for individual treatment providers licensed under Rule 31. Among measures reported are rates of homelessness, unemployment, arrest, alcohol and drug use, involvement in self-help groups and family support for recovery at the time individuals are admitted and at the time of their discharge. Declines in these rates are seen as showing success in treatment.

The report also includes information, by provider and statewide, on gender, race, age, primary substance, source of income and referral source of people receiving treatment. 

'Heroin at Home' documentary on TPT

DHS and Twin Cities Public Television have produced a documentary, "Heroin at Home." The documentary examines a dramatic increase in heroin and opiate use in Minnesota and what is being done to address it. For more videos, visit Minnesota DHS on YouTube


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