Information about opioids, treatment facilities, syringe disposal and other resources.

Opioids are drugs that have been plaguing our city for more than a decade. The drugs affect the user, their family, their friends and the community.

  • The opioid epidemic began in the 1990s with the overprescribing of prescriptions to treat pain. This led to the abuse of opioids and the growing number of fatal and non-fatal overdoses we see today
  • Four Minnesotans die each day from drug overdoses
  • Minnesota Opioid deaths from 2020 to 2021 increased by 36 percent 
Fatal opioid overdoses by year
Year 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Minnesota 422 343 427 678 924
Minneapolis 83 74 86 146 197
  • In 2021, Minneapolis had 20 percent of the opioid deaths in the state
    • Minneapolis makes up 8 percent of the state's population
  • Fentanyl is the most common opioid being abused in our City. It’s a synthetic opioid approved for treating pain. It can be:
    • Up to 50 times stronger than heroin
    • 100 times stronger than morphine
  • Illegally made fentanyl is linked to the increase in fatal and non-fatal overdoses
  • Three grains of salt are about how much fentanyl it takes to kill a person

Mayor Frey’s Multi-Jurisdictional Task Force on Opioids

Learn more about fentanyl from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Learn more about Minnesota's opioid epidemic from the Minnesota Department of Health

A syringe and opioid drugs.


Recovery programs and education

Syringe disposal

Syringe boxes and drop box


The City and its residents are concerned about the growing amounts of syringe litter. Syringe litter creates a:

  • Public health hazard
  • Risk of injury
  • Spread of disease

What to do

Syringe drop boxes are an effective way to decrease syringe litter. You can find drop boxes in neighborhoods around the city.

Picking up needles without proper training could be dangerous. If you come across syringes in your community or you need information on drop box locations, contact 311.

Safe syringe programs

A syringe service program aims to help people use syringes more safely. This helps reduce infection that can be spread by sharing needles, such as:

  • HIV
  • Viral hepatitis

Syringe exchange programs and free Narcan 

These organizations provide syringe services to area residents:

Examples of services provided by these organizations include: 

  • HIV and hepatitis C prevention and testing
  • Naloxone kits and training
  • Sterile syringes at no cost
  • Referrals for substance abuse treatment and recovery support

Other resources

Legal support

Find legal help for those dealing with drug-related criminal cases. 

Rule 25 - chemical use assessments

Rule 25 is a type of alcohol and/or drug assessment in Minnesota. The purpose of the rule 25 is to assess an individual’s substance use and determine if a person can be diagnosed with a substance use disorder. Substance use disorder is the medical term for alcoholism or drug addiction.

Request accessible format

If you need help with this information, please email 311, or call 311 or 612-673-3000.

Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

Contact us

Minneapolis Health Department




Public Service Building
505 Fourth Ave. S., Room 520
Minneapolis, MN 55415



Minneapolis 311


Office hours

7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Monday – Friday