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Minnesota Opioid Summary

Revised February 2018

Opioid-Related Overdose Deaths

In 2016, there were 396 opioid-related overdose deaths­­­ in Minnesota—a rate of 7.4 deaths per 100,000 persons compared to the national rate of 13.3 deaths per 100,000. Since 2010, when the rate was 4.4 deaths per 100,000, the rate has steadily increased. From 2009 to 2016, the number of heroin-related deaths increased from 16 to 149; deaths related to synthetic opioids rose from 39 to 99; and deaths from prescription opioids remained stable from 177 to 195.

This graph shows the rate of opioid-related overdose deaths in Minnesota compared to the United States from 1999-2016. In 2016, the opioid overdose death rate was 7.4 deaths per 100,000 persons in Minnesota, versus 13.3 deaths per 100,000 persons in the United States.

Opioid Pain Reliever Prescriptions

In 2015, Minnesota providers wrote 54.2 opioid prescriptions per 100 persons (3.0 million prescriptions).  In the same year, the average U.S. rate was 70 opioid prescriptions per 100 persons (IMS Health, 2016).  

This graph shows the number of opioid-related overdose deaths in Minnesota from 1999-2016. In 2016, there were 396 opioid-related overdose deaths: 99 involved synthetic opioids, 149 involved heroin, and 195 involved prescription opioids. Categories are not mutually exclusive because deaths may involve more than one drug.

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)

The incidence of NAS in Minnesota Medicaid claims data (accounting for about 80 percent of opioid-affected births) has increased from 5.9 per 1,000 births in 2009 to 10.5 per 1,000 births in 2012, an almost twofold increase (mncourts.gov). The average across 28 states included in a separate 2013 analysis was 6.0 cases per 1,000 births (CDC, MMWR, 2014).

HIV Prevalence and HIV Diagnoses Attributed to Injection Drug Use (IDU)

  • U.S. Incidence: In 2015, 9.1 percent (3,5941) of the 39,513 new diagnoses of HIV in the United States were attributed to IDU. Among new cases, 8.2 percent (2,6141) of cases among men and 13.2 percent (980) of cases among women were transmitted via IDU (CDC).
  • U.S. Prevalence: In 2014, 955,081 Americans were living with a diagnosed HIV infection—a rate of 299.5 per 100,000 persons. Of these, 18.1 percent (131,0561) of males and 22.6 percent (52,013) of females were living with HIV attributed to IDU (CDC).
  • State Incidence: Of the new HIV cases in 2015, 287 occurred in Minnesota (a rate of 6 cases per 100,000 persons), with 8.7 percent1 of new cases in males and 9.3 percent of new cases in females attributed to IDU (AIDSVu).
  • State Prevalence: In 2014, an estimated 7,549 persons were living with a diagnosed HIV infection in Minnesota—a rate of 167 cases per 100,000 persons. Of these, 13.5 percent1 of males and 14.5 percent of females were living with HIV attributed to IDU (AIDSVu).

Hepatitis C (HCV) Prevalence and HCV Diagnoses Attributed to Injection Drug Use

  • U.S. Incidence: In 2015, there were 181,871 reported cases of chronic HCV and 33,900 estimated cases of acute HCV2 (CDC). Where data were available, 64.2 percent of acute cases reported IDU (CDC).
  • U.S. Prevalence: An estimated 3.5 million Americans are living with HCV, including approximately 2.7 million living with chronic infections (CDC).
  • State Incidence: In 2015, Minnesota reported 51 new cases of acute HCV at a rate of 0.93 cases per 100,000 persons. Of these, more than 55 percent reported IDU (Minnesota DOH).
  • State Prevalence: As of 2016, an estimated 35,623 persons were living with chronic HCV in Minnesota (Minnesota DOH).

Additional Resources

NIH RePORTER FY2017 NIH-funded projects related to opioid use and use disorder in Minnesota: 6

Notes

  1. Includes transmission to individuals with injection drug use as a risk factor.
  2. 2015 estimate after adjusting for under-ascertainment and under-reporting. Data for 2015 were unavailable for Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Iowa, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Wyoming.

This page was last updated February 2018

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