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The capital of Minnesota is St. Paul, MN. This state entered the union on May 11, 1858. It was the 32nd state to join the union. Minnesota’s state symbols include the lady slipper (flower), red pine (tree) and the common loon (bird). Their state motto is L'Etoile du Nord (The North Star) and they are also known as the North Star State; Gopher State and the Land of 10,000 Lakes. The 2010 census reported that 5,303,925 people call Minnesota their home. Of this population 2,632,132 are Male; Female: 2,671,793. White: 4,524,062 (88.0%); Black: 274,412 (4.4%); American Indian: 60,916 (1.0%); Asian: 214,234 (3.5%); Other race: 103,000 (1.4%); Two or more races: 125,145 (1.8%); Hispanic/Latino: 250,258 (4.0%). 2010 population 18 and over: 4,019,862; 65 and over: 683,121; median age: 37.

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This week's topic is:

Minnesota Drug Use Trends

Minnesota is located in the Midwestern United States, and because of the large number of lakes in the state it is often called the "Land of 10,000 Lakes." Close to 60% of Minnesota residents live in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metro area, also known as Twin Cities. Indicators in regards to the state's standard of living index rank Minnesota among the highest in the nation and it is also among the best-educated and wealthiest states in the U.S. There are challenges in Minnesota however in regards to substance abuse among residents and how to effectively treat the problem by making quality treatment options available to those who need it.


Young adults in Minnesota experience a higher than average rate of recent alcohol use when compared to their national counterparts. As an example, a recent study found that 62% of Minnesotans ages 18 and over reported drinking in the past 30 days while 54% of adults nationally reported past month use. Recent rates of binge drinking are also higher among adults in Minnesota than the US average, and on the rise.


Marijuana is a very common drug of choice in Minnesota, particularly among young adults in the state. Here too we see reported recent marijuana use among young adults higher than the national average. Additionally, 20% of high school seniors report lifetime use of marijuana in the state. In terms of other illicit drugs, indicators for cocaine and methamphetamine have decreased in recent years, yet those for heroin and other opiates have continued to escalate in Minnesota. This is particularly true for the Twin Cities region, where the vast majority of residents reside. For example, opiate-related overdose deaths increased markedly in Hennepin County from 69 in 2013 to 84 in 2012. Heroin accounted for nearly 14% of treatment admissions in 2013, and other opiates which include prescription painkillers accounted for 10.1%. So heroin accounted for nearly 1/4 of treatment admissions that year. Additionally, hospital emergency department visits for heroin nearly tripled between 2004 and 2011, and more than doubled for prescription pain killers. The number of drug overdose deaths in Minnesota, the majority of which are from prescription drugs, has doubled since 1999.


In the vast majority of cases and for the types of addiction that Minnesotans struggle with, an intensive course of treatment is often needed to help heal physically and mentally from the effects of this but also to steel oneself for the future so it doesn't happen again. In Minnesota, there are less intensive options available such as outpatient treatment for example, yet residents have shown to benefit most from facilities where they can completely focus on treatment and nothing else for as long as they need to in order to experience a full recovery. After all, nothing else is more important than this and their lives depend on a positive outcome. So it is often necessary to put all other obligations aside and just have one's complete focus and attention on resolving the acute physical issues of course, but even more so focusing on what changes need to be made in one's life so that drugs never enter the picture again. In Minnesota, long-term inpatient and residential programs make all of this a possibility. So from the very start, residents can be provided with expert detox services until they physically stabilize and remain in a drug free and stress free environment where professional treatment counselors can help them resolve the causes of addiction to they can live a drug free life for good when they return home.

Population in Minnesota:5,132,799
State Prison Population in Minnesota:8,758
Probation Population in Minnesota:114,226
Violent Crime Rate in Minnesota:
National Ranking:38
2007 Federal Drug Seizures in Minnesota:
Cocaine seizures in Minnesota:64.9 kgs.
Heroin seizures in Minnesota:0.5 kgs.
Methamphetamine seizures in Minnesota:8,4 kgs.
Marijuana seizures in Minnesota:96.1 kgs.
Hashish seizures in Minnesota:0.0 kgs.
MDMA seizures in Minnesota:0.0 kgs./153 du
Meth Lab Incidents in Minnesota:25
(DEA, Minnesota, and local city Law Enforcement)
Drug Situation in Minnesota:
  • Mexican traffickers control the transportation, distribution, and bulk sales of cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine, and black-tar heroin in Minnesota.
  • Several Mexican groups and street gangs such as the Latin Kings are operating in Minnesota.
  • As a general rule, the upper echelon Mexican dealers in Minnesota bring the majority of their proceeds back to family members living in Mexico.
  • At the retail level in Michigan, independent African American traffickers, African American street gangs, Native American gangs, and independent Caucasian groups purchase cocaine, black-tar heroin, and marijuana from Mexican traffickers.
  • In outlying areas of Michigan, independent Caucasian groups and outlaw motorcycle gangs distribute methamphetamine in small amounts.
  • Street gang activity in Minnesota has increased dramatically over the past few years.
  • African American gangs seem to be primarily involved in the distribution of crack cocaine in Minnesota.

  • Most of the cocaine available in Minnesota is purchased from sources of supply in California, Chicago, and Detroit.
  • Some traffickers get cocaine directly from sources of supply along the southwest border and transport the cocaine to Minnesota themselves.
  • Mexican traffickers control the transportation, distribution, and bulk sales of cocaine in Minnesota.
  • African American traffickers, African American street gangs (specifically the Gangster Disciples, the Vice Lords, and Crips), Hispanic street gangs (specifically the Latin Kings), Native American groups (specifically the Native Mob), and independent Caucasian groups buy cocaine from Mexican traffickers and distribute it throughout Minnesota.
  • In the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area of Minnesota, crack cocaine is controlled by independent African American traffickers and African American street gangs.

  • Heroin distribution and use have not been a large problem in Minnesota, but recent reports show that there has been an increase in heroin use, especially in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.
  • At the wholesale level in Minnesota, sources of heroin include Mexican traffickers operating from the southwest border and from Chicago, Nigerian/West African traffickers operating from Chicago and New York, African American street gangs with ties to Chicago.
  • At the retail level in Minnesota, heroin is sold primarily by Hispanic and African American street gangs.

  • The methamphetamine threat in Minnesota is two-fold. First, large amounts of methamphetamine produced by Mexican organizations based in California or Washington are transported into and distributed throughout Minnesota. Mexican traffickers typically send methamphetamine from California via bulk transportation and courier with some smaller amounts being sent through the U.S. mail or Federal Express. Second, methamphetamine is being produced in small laboratories in Minnesota, capable of producing only a few ounces at a time.
  • There were meth lab incidents in Minnesota in 2007.

  • Club drugs, including MDMA (ecstasy), Ketamine, GHB, GBL, Rohypnol, LSD, PCP, and, to a lesser degree, psilocybin mushrooms, have been reported in Minnesota.
  • Club drugs are most used in Minneapolis' gay population, and to a lesser extent, among young people at raves and nightclubs in suburban areas of Minnesota.
  • Before its placement in Schedule I in February 2000, Minnesota placed state controls on the possession of GHB.
  • Ketamine ("Special K") use first appeared in Minnesota in 1997 among adolescents and young adults.

  • Use of diverted controlled substances in Minnesota continues to be a problem.
  • The most common diverted pharmaceuticals in Minnesota are Nubain, Dilaudid, Ritalin, Vicodin (hydrocodone), OxyContin, codeine combination products, the benzodiazepines, and the anorectic drugs phentermine and phendimetrazie.
  • Nubain is a prescription narcotic that has recently become a problem in the Minneapolis area.
  • Nubain is being used by body builders in Minnesota who mistakenly believe it acts as a steroid. Four deaths have occurred in the Minneapolis area as a result of Nubain being taken with MDMA and OxyContin being mixed with cocaine.
  • According to local addicts in Minnesota, Klonopin is more readily available than in the past from illegal sources and prescriptions are easily obtained from some doctors.
  • In rural Minnesota Klonopin has appeared under its international, non-United States trade name, "Rivotril," which denotes its importation from foreign sources.
  • Flunitrazepam, trade name "Rohypnol," is a long-acting benzodiapine that is usually combined with alcohol or other drugs to produce incapacitation and memory loss similar to an alcohol-induced blackout. Minnesota law enforcement agencies encountered only small amounts of the drug. Its use as a "date rape" drug is not widespread in Minnesota.

  • Current investigations show that diversion of OxyContin and Vicodin continues to be a problem in Minnesota.
  • Primary methods of diversion of pharmaceuticals being reported in Minnesota are illegal sale and distribution by health care professionals and workers, and "doctor shopping".
  • Benzodiazepines, methylphenidate, and Ritalin were also identified as some of the most commonly abused and diverted pharmaceuticals in Minnesota.

  • In 1995 a program was created known as the DEA Mobile Enforcement Teams, or "MET". This was in response to the overwhelming problem of drugs and drug-related crimes across the nation. Since the inception of the program, there has been one MET deployment in the State of Minnesota, in Minneapolis.
  • There were 258 drug violation arrests in Minnesota in 2007.

  • The DEA Chicago Field Division is committed to obtaining cooperative efforts among federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies within Minnesota. A task force consisting of two groups and funded by DEA's State and Local Program is located in Minneapolis. There are sixteen Task Force Officers, representing four law enforcement agencies, assigned to DEA in Minnesota. There are funded task forces throughout Minnesota receiving U.S. Department of Justice Byrne Grant money. The DEA participates in the Minneapolis Gang Strike Force (MGSF), which was created in 1997 to combat escalating gang violence in Minnesota and it operates six regional offices. Currently, there are over 5,000 confirmed gang members entered into the Minnesota Gang Strike Force Intelligence System and 160 organized gangs.

State Policy Offices : Minnesota

  • Governor's Office Office of the Governor
    State Capitol, Room 130
    Aurora Avenue and Park Street
    St. Paul, MN 55155
    (612) 296-3391
  • State Legislative Contact Legislative Reference Library
    State Office Building, Room 645
    100 Constitution Avenue
    St. Paul, MN 55155
    (612) 296-3398
  • State Drug Program Coordinator Minnesota Department of Public Safety
    Office of Drug Policy
    444 Cedar Street, 100-D
    St. Paul, MN 55101
    (612) 297-4749

State Criminal Justice Offices : Minnesota

  • Attorney General's Office Office of the Attorney General
    State Capitol, Room 102
    Aurora Avenue and Park Street
    St. Paul, MN 55155
    (612) 296-6196
  • Crime Prevention Offices Minnesota Crime Prevention Officers Association
    318 Transportation Building
    St. Paul, MN 55155
    (612) 296-7541
  • Minnesota Crime Watch Minnesota Department of Public Safety
    Bureau of Criminal Apprehension
    1246 University Avenue
    St. Paul, MN 55104
    (612) 643-2576
  • Statistical Analysis Center Minnesota Planning Agency
    Centennial Office Building,Room 300
    658 Cedar Street
    St. Paul, MN 55155
    (612) 296-4852
  • Uniform Crime Reports Contact Uniform Crime Reports
    Minnesota Department of Public Safety
    Office of Information Systems Management
    Suite 100-H, Town Square
    444 Cedar Street
    St. Paul, MN 55101-2156
    (612) 296-7589
  • BJA Strategy Preparation Agency Minnesota Department of Public Safety
    Office of Drug Policy
    444 Cedar Street, 100-D
    St. Paul, MN 55101
    (612) 297-4749
  • Judicial Agency Supreme Court
    State Capitol, Room 230
    Aurora Avenue and Park Street
    St. Paul, MN 55155
    (612) 296-2474
  • Corrections Agency Department of Corrections
    Bigelow Building, Room 300
    450 North Syndicate Street
    St. Paul, MN 55104
    (612) 642-0200

State Health Offices : Minnesota

  • RADAR Network Agency Minnesota Prevention Resource Center
    417 University Avenue
    St. Paul, MN 55103
    (612) 224-5121
  • HIV-Prevention Program AIDS/STD Prevention Services Section
    Minnesota Department of Health
    717 Southeast Delaware Street
    Minneapolis, MN 55440
    (612) 623-5698
  • Drug and Alcohol Agency Chemical Dependency Program Division
    Department of Human Services
    Space Center Building
    444 Lafayette Road
    St. Paul, MN 55155-3823
    (612) 296-3991

State Education Office : Minnesota

  • State Coordinator for Drug-Free Schools Drug Abuse Program
    State Department of Education
    Learner Support Systems
    994 Capitol Square Building
    St. Paul, MN 55101
    (612) 296-3925

Minnesota: Substance Abuse Trends & Statistics

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Behavioral Health Barometer:

Minnesota: Substance Abuse Resources

Drug Rehab Minnesota Minnesota Department of Human Services

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