An opioid overdose requires immediate medical attention. Call 911 immediately if you or someone you know exhibits any of the symptoms.

Get Help

Tools to find what you need.

Fast-Tracker is an excellent resource for finding treatment for opioid and other substance use disorders in Minnesota, allowing you to search by location or program service. Use Fast-Tracker or our treatment provider link to find your best option, including services focused on cultural communities, women-centered programs and LGBTQ identifying individuals.

If you are having a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.

Do you suspect an overdose?

An opioid overdose requires immediate medical attention. Call 911 immediately if you or someone you know exhibits any of the symptoms listed below. Give a clear address and/or description of your location.

Signs of overdose include the following:

Face is extremely pale and/or clammy to the touch 

Body is limp

Fingernails or lips have a blue or purple color

Person is vomiting or making gurgling noises

Person cannot be awakened from sleep or is unable to speak.

Breathing is very slow or stopped

Heartbeat is very slow or stopped

Signs of overmedication, which can progress to overdose, include:

Unusual sleepiness or drowsiness

Mental confusion, slurred speech or intoxicated behavior

Slow or shallow breathing

Extremely small “pinpoint” pupils

Slow heartbeat or low blood pressure

Difficulty in being awakened from sleep

Source: AmericaAddictionCenters.org

Recovery

Can I recover from opioid use disorder?
Recovery from opioid use disorder can be within reach. Every recovery journey is unique with a different set of hurdles to face. Here are some commonalities:

Withdrawal

Withdrawal symptoms can manifest in as soon as a few hours the last dose ingested. Please note that withdrawal can be done without assistance but without professional medical treatment, you are more vulnerable to relapse. Withdrawal can be extremely uncomfortable, and support is highly recommended. Detoxing in a safe medical setting is the safest and smoothest method.

Early Symptoms

(6-12 hours for short-acting opiates, up to 30 hours for longer-acting)

Muscle fatigue

Sweats

Racing heart / hypertension

Fever

Agitation / anxiety

Runny nose

Late Symptoms

(peak within 72 hours and usually last for a week)

Nausea and vomiting

Diarrhea

Goosebumps

Stomach ramps

Depression

Source: AmericaAddictionCenters.org

Hours

Hours

Hours

Last Dose

Symptoms Begin

(short-acting opioids)

Symptoms Begin

(long-acting opioids)

Symptoms Peak

Source: AmericaAddictionCenters.org

Relapse Prevention

Recovery looks different for everyone. While relapse can occur, it is not a reason to get discouraged or give up hope.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Addiction is complex and the journey to recovery often involves setbacks and relapse. Rates of relapse are between 40 and 60 percent, very similar to rates of relapse with other chronic diseases like hypertension, asthma or type I diabetes.”

“How many times have some of us tried to diet, exercise or quit smoking? It isn’t always one and done. Seldom is there one straight path out of the woods.” – Paul Kusiak, parent

Relapse happens for a variety of reasons and it may vary per individual. Some examples include:

Thinking “one last time can’t hurt”

An inability to cope with stress (often caused by conflicts at work, home or within a relationship) without the use of drugs.

Difficulty managing physical and/or emotional pain without the use of drugs.

Substituting one drug for another.

Difficulty addressing triggers (places, people and objects associated with former use) and cravings.

An intentional overdose to end one’s life.

Source: Drugfree.org (Partnership for Drug-Free Kids)

According to the American Psychiatry Association, “Preventing relapse from opioid use is more than merely saying ‘no’ in the face of temptation.” Your recovery journey will not always trend upward and that has nothing to do with your desire to recover or a reflection of your willingness to change.

As soon as relapse occurs, it is vital to get the help you need to make sure the behavior does not continue. Slip ups happen – do not lose your focus or give up.

A relapse prevention plan should start before the temptation sets in. Things to consider include: “What are my triggers? Are there places or people I need to avoid? What positive coping mechanisms can I utilize?”

For more information about relapse prevention, visit our resources page.

Treatment

Options

Recovery is real and possible for everyone. And recovery begins by taking that first difficult step: asking for help.

Stopping the harmful use of opioids is just one part of the recovery process. The whole person needs to be addressed. Things like removing toxic relationships or other triggers that could prevent recovery should also be part of the treatment plan. Surround yourself with supportive people—this will help you break the cycle of guilt and shame.

Options

Fast-Tracker is the premier resource for finding treatment in Minnesota and can be accessed at sud.fast-trackermn.org. You can search by location or program service and Fast-Tracker will find the best fit for you. Also, you can use Fast-Tracker to identify services focused on cultural communities, women-centered programs and LGBTQ identifying individuals.

Some options for treatment include:

Detox

Opioid withdrawal is uncomfortable and painful and requires help from medical professionals to prevent immediate relapse and other side effects. In detox centers, you can receive medical observation and treatment while you go through withdrawal symptoms.

Residential

Often the most intensive level of treatment, as you can receive 24-hour observation and medical care.

Non-Residential

Outpatient services where you commute to the treatment facility or counseling center for appointments.

Telemedicine

If you live in an area without available care or cannot physically commute to a treatment facility, telemedicine allows you to receive services via the Internet.

Other Options

12-step programs like Narcotics Anonymous, peer support groups and recovery housing or other therapeutic communities.

Financial Help

To ensure you’re getting the most out of your coverage, contact your insurance provider before officially beginning treatment. Also keep in mind that not having insurance shouldn’t be a barrier to treatment. Your desired program may be willing to work with you to develop an appropriate payment plan.

Source: drugabuse.gov (National Institute on Drug Abuse)

Relapse does not mean that you have failed. It can take time to effectively change behaviors and thoughts. If relapse does occur, return to your treatment plan as soon as possible.

Naloxone

Naloxone, often known by its brand name Narcan, is a lifesaving drug that reverses an opioid overdose.
Within minutes of it being administered, the affected person is able to breathe again. Naloxone is available as an injectable or nose spray. Naloxone is only effective with reversing overdoses caused by opioids.

About Naloxone

Since it is not a controlled substance and has no potential for abuse, naloxone is accessible and can be easily administered by anyone. It does not harm someone to receive it. When in doubt, get it, be trained and don’t be afraid to use it. Starting in September 2015, Naloxone has been available in Minnesota without a prescription.

Minnesota also passed a good Samaritan law that protects people who administer Naloxone, in good faith, from criminal and civil prosecution. If you do give someone Naloxone, dial 911 immediately because medical attention is required.

You can get Naloxone at any of the pharmacies on the List of Pharmacies with Naloxone Protocol. Pharmacy chains such as CVS and Walgreens have protocols in place to assure naloxone is available.

Frequently Asked Questions about Naloxone

Can I get naloxone without a prescription?

Since 2015, naloxone has been available in Minnesota without a prescription.

Can I be sued for administered naloxone?

Minnesota has a Good Samaritan law that protects people who administer naloxone, in good faith, from criminal and civil prosecution.

Who can use it?

Naloxone can be administered by anyone. People with friends or family members that use opioids, or someone organizing emergency procedures for an organization/event, should consider getting a naloxone kit.

How do I know when to use naloxone?

Look for the signs of an overdose, such as non-responsiveness, breathing slowly, not breathing at all, blue lips and fingernails and gurgling.

What do I do after I administer naloxone?

Naloxone can help restore breathing but is not a cure and cannot reverse an overdose completely. Call 911 immediately following signs of an overdose or overmedication.

What if the person who overdosed doesn’t wake up?

Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation can be given if possible. If the person who overdosed does not wake up within two to four minutes after receiving naloxone, more can be given. This is typically why naloxone comes in a two-pack.

How long does the naloxone last in the system?

Naloxone usually works for thirty to ninety minutes, depending on the amount of opioids taken. Sometimes multiple doses of naloxone are needed. Call 911 before you administer naloxone and be sure to stay with the person to assure that no more opioids are taken while you are waiting for the ambulance to arrive.

Does naloxone have side effects?

Naloxone doesn’t cause harm if it turns out that an overdose did not occur. Naloxone can cause drowsiness, dizziness or fainting.

How much does naloxone cost?

Naloxone is being provided free of charge through state and federal efforts. Learn more about where you can get free naloxone.

Naloxone Training and Distribution

Hennepin County Public Health's Red Door Clinic

The Naloxone training and distribution service within Hennepin County Public Health’s Red Door Clinic provides targeted opioid overdose prevention and recovery services to isolated and vulnerable communities in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. The Red Door has been providing Naloxone training and distribution as well as syringe exchange since 2015 in response to the rapidly increasing rate of opioid deaths within Hennepin County.

Indigenous Peoples Task Force

The Indigenous Peoples Task Force provides basic naloxone education, training and distribution to Native American-based organizations, service providers, community members, and to people who inject drugs.

Rural AIDS Action Network

Rural AIDS Action Network (RAAN) increases access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for patients diagnosed with opioid use disorder (OUD) as well as to help improve systems of care for patients diagnosed with co-occurring disorders. This project is designed to create a culturally responsive MAT program to support women at risk for OUD; create a medical dimension of care and improve client care coordination for the Red Lake Family Healing to Wellness Court (Mino-misko-miikanaakedaa); and improve coordination of post-overdose treatment, increase access to withdrawal support, and increase availability of MAT for difficult to reach populations.

Steve Rummler HOPE Network

Steve Rummler HOPE Network distributes naloxone kits and provides training throughout the Minnesota. In addition, the network expands naloxone distribution through strategic partnerships targeting 30 counties and embeds naloxone pick-up points and community overdose prevention trainers across the state.

The StreetWorks Collaborative (Lutheran Social Service)

A program of Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota’s Metro Homeless Youth Services, StreetWorks Collaborative works with youth experiencing homelessness and/or at risk of homelessness, ages 13 to 24 in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. The project, through youth-specific training and distribution of Narcan nasal spray, helps prevent young people experiencing or at risk of homelessness from dying of an opioid overdose.

Naloxone Locations

Meridian Behavioral Health Network

Each of four locations carry Naloxone kits. Training and kits are available Monday-Friday from 6 a.m. – 1 p.m.  It is helpful to call in advance to reduce any wait times you may encounter.

Valhalla Place
Brooklyn Park
2807 Brookdale Drive North.
Brooklyn Park, MN 55444
763-237-9898
Monday – Friday:  5:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Monday – Friday dosing hours: 5:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Saturday: 6 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Sunday: Closed

Woodbury
6043 Hudson Road, Suite 220
Woodbury, MN  55125
651-925-8200
Monday – Friday:  5:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Monday – Friday dosing hours: 5:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Saturday: 6 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Sunday: Closed

Minneapolis
3329 University Avenue SE
Minneapolis, MN  55414
612-454-2260
Monday – Friday:  5:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Monday – Friday Dosing Hours: 5:30 – 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 – 2 p.m.
Saturday Hours of Operation and Dosing: 6:30  – 10:30 a.m.
Sunday: Closed

Brainerd
2215 South 6th Street
Brainerd, MN  56401
218-454-1010
Monday – Friday:  6 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Monday – Friday dosing hours: 6 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Saturday Hours of Operation and Dosing: 7  – 9 a.m.
Sunday: Closed

Steve Rummler HOPE Network

The Steve Rummler HOPE Network provides critical education and training across the state of Minnesota and beyond. Our training sessions have been held at large hospitals, universities, community centers and for retail store security staff. The Network believes everyone should learn how to recognize and reverse an opioid overdose,and provides training and support for individuals who wish to become overdose prevention trainers in their community. These trainers lead community training sessions and dispense overdose rescue kits under the Steve Rummler HOPE Network. A calendar of training sessions and additional information may be found at https://steverummlerhopenetwork.org/our-causes/programs-overdoseprevention/

Connect with the Network online at www.facebook.com/rummlerhope and contact the overdose prevention manager at randy.anderson@steverummlerhopenetwork.org or via phone at (612) 584-0020. If you use a naloxone kit, text HOPE123 to 56512

Rural AIDS Action Network

Staff at each of the organization’s five offices have Narcan kits. Office locations are generally open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. but it’s good to check to be sure staff will be there. RAAN’s Duluth and Mankato offices operate syringe exchange programs and have staff who can train and distribute Narcan during open hours 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday (Friday the offices close at 3 p.m.). In addition, RAAN has staff who can travel to do training and distribution; at least 10 people per location is required.  Contact Deb at deb@raan.org or 218-606-2345 (northern Minnesota) or Troy at troy@raan.org or 507-995-1939 (southern Minnesota).

 

St. Cloud

Rural AIDS Action Network
300 E St. Germain Street, Ste 220
St. Cloud, MN
320-257-3036
Toll Free 800-966-9735

Moorhead

Rural AIDS Action Network
715 11th St N, Suite 304A
Moorhead, MN
877-403-1815

 

Duluth

Rural AIDS Action Network
18 West First Street
Duluth, MN
218-481-7225

Grand Rapids

888-647-7226

Mankato

Rural AIDS Action Network
2500 9th Ave, #2
Mankato, MN
507-345-1011

Needle

Exchange

Sharing drug injection equipment can spread infections.
Using new needles can greatly decrease your chance of getting an infection or serious disease such as HIV or Hepatitis C. Needle or syringe exchange programs provide non-judgmental access to sterile supplies and safe disposal. Those organizations also can provide referrals to treatment and community resources.

Syringe Service Programs (SSPs)

Some Syringe Service Programs (SSPs) also provide resources including access to educational materials, medical care services, condoms and Naloxone kits. In addition, when people participate in an SSP, they are five times more likely to seek treatment for a substance use disorder.

In 2018, MDH-funded SSPs served 6,815 unique clients.
These SSPs include:
Indigenous People’s Task Force (IPTF)
Just Us Health
Native American Community Clinic (NACC)
NorthPoint Health and Wellness
Ramsey County Clinic 555
Rural AIDS Action Network (RAAN) Duluth

Under the Minnesota Pharmacy/Syringe Access Initiative, it is legal to purchase and possess up to 10 new, unused syringes from pharmacies, without a prescription. A list of participating pharmacies by county is available through the Minnesota Department of Health.

Source: MN Dept. of Health

How Can

I Help?

A strong support system can make it easier to achieve your recovery goals if you are struggling with opioid use disorder.
Keep these things in mind. The more you understand, the more love and compassion you can show.

The Decision Starts with the Person

That decision, ultimately, must come from the individual themselves, and until that decision is made, recovery attempts will not be effective. They need to want to recover for themselves not for you.

Opioid Dependence is Not a Choice

“Opioids produce high levels of positive reinforcement, increasing the odds that people will continue using them despite negative resulting consequences,” according to Psychiatry.org.

The key here is that the person will continue using even when they see the harm it is causing. People struggling with opioid use disorder may want to make a change but are unable to do so without help.

Opioid use disorder is not a reflection of a person’s character.

Express Your Concern

Talking to someone you care for who is struggling with opioid use disorder can be challenging, but it’s important to create an open line of communication. Express your concern for them, but make sure to approach the person with empathy and support. Focus your conversation on observations about the person’s recent behavior and ask questions to help guide the conversation. Most importantly, listen and allow the person to express what they are going through.

Have Reasonable Expectations

Keep in mind that recovery is a long process and looks different for every person.

Some require only one round of treatment; others may need multiple attempts. Relapses can happen, but this has nothing to do with the person’s desire for recovery. Real change does not happen overnight.

Support in the Best Way for You

Supporting someone with opioid use disorder is not easy.

Setting healthy boundaries and sticking to them are beneficial for everyone involved. You may be comfortable with visiting them in a treatment center but not with letting them stay in your home during withdrawal. The most important part is the person knowing that you support them in their recovery and that you care about their future.

Narcotics Anonymous offers a separate 12-step program specifically for families and friends of people with substance abuse disorders. The Twin Cities Nar-Anon Family Group meets Mondays at 7 p.m. Get more information.