Minnesota is probably most famous for being the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” but that’s just typical Minnesotan modesty—there are actually more than 11,000 lakes that are at least ten acres in size in the state. You can imagine that with that much natural beauty, the residents of Minnesota spend a lot of time swimming, boating and enjoying nature in general.

Even with all of this outdoors enjoyment to be had, Minnesota has still not been able to escape from the same scourge of drug abuse that has afflicted the rest of the United States as well. There are still several categories of drugs that are climbing in abuse amounts in the state. 

Drug Use & Addiction Related Statistics in Minnesota

The following are drugs use statistics and related information about abuse and the consequences of addiction in the state of Minnesota:

  • Minnesota has one of the lower rates of drug use across the country. Only 6.97 percent of residents admit to using drugs in the past month, compared to 8.82 percent of the general population of the country.
  • The number of people dying from drug use was also lower in Minnesota than in the rest of the country. Only 8.4 people per 100,000 die from their drug use, compared with 12.8 across the rest of the U.S.
  • Drug use in Minnesota can largely be described as “recreational”, as marijuana is by far the most popular drug. “Harder” drugs such as cocaine and heroin make up a much smaller percentage of all drug use in the state.

Most Commonly Abused Drugs in Minnesota

According to reports from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, here are the most commonly abused drugs in Minnesota:

  • Marijuana is responsible for just over 35 percent of all drug treatment admissions in the state, the largest percentage of admissions for any abused drug.
  • Cocaine and crack used to be the most highly abused drugs at the beginning of the 90s when they were responsible for over 40 percent of admissions. Like most of the rest of the country, crack and cocaine usage have been plummeting over the past two decades, and they are now responsible for fewer drug treatment admissions than any of the other, major drugs.
  • Meth use skyrocketed in the years between 1999 and 2005, but it has not started to drop. After hitting a high of being the cause of 30 percent of drug treatment admissions in 2005, the drug was down to less than 20 percent in 2011.
  • Heroin use has only been responsible for a few percentage points of Minnesota’s drug use for many years, but it has now climbed back cocaine for the first time up to almost 15 percent of all drug treatment admissions.

Minnesota Addiction News: Heroin from Cartels is a Growing Problem in Minnesota

According to reports, 43 deaths have been accounted for so far this year in Hennepin County, Minnesota with 2 months to go in the year. Last year 37 deaths were accounted from heroin. Health officials also reported increases in overdoses related to ingestion of heroin across the state. The main supply of heroin comes from Mexico, on the southwest border and smugglers transport it using the interstate system. Defenses are put in place to dissuade and stop perpetrators from breaching the 18 foot, 7 mile fence that runs along the border of Mexico and

The US. Border Patrol and Custom agents use the help of sensors and cameras to alert them of intruders but there are still smugglers that are able to get through. The heroin suppliers are Mexican Cartels who rely on the smugglers to deliver their drugs across the border to reach their “customers.”  With an increase in smuggling from the border also causes an increase in violence. When smugglers are encountered by DEA agents, Border Patrol, or Rip Crews (criminals trying to steal dope) they often turn to shootings. With an increase of smugglers there is an increase of heroin with a far lower price tag than prescription opioids. Staffing levels have doubled in the last 9 years and seizures have increased roughly 40%. Still heroin is prominent.

Sources & Resources for Minnesota Drug Treatment

WhiteHouse.gov: Minnesota Drug Control Update – http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/state_profile_-_minnesota_0.pdf

Minnesota.CBSLocal.com: Where Is All The Heroin Coming From? –  http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2016/03/23/gq-heroin/