Hennepin County to Offer Free Online Opioid Awareness Class
The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office announced Thursday that it will soon offer an online opioid awareness class. The educational initiative is meant to combat the opioid addiction epidemic, which continues to grow during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The opioid addiction crisis has not gone away during the pandemic,” said Sheriff Dave Hutchinson. “In fact, opioid deaths in Hennepin County were up significantly in 2020 compared to 2019. It is critically important we educate people about the dangers presented by opioids before they first encounter these drugs.”
The online class is free and is open to anyone. It will cover the dangers of opioids, signs of addiction, treatment options, and the proper administration of naloxone, which is the drug used to reverse the effects of an overdose.
“At this point, most people know that opioids are some of the most dangerous drugs in the world today,” said Hutchinson. “Most, however, don’t know what makes them so dangerous, what makes them so addictive, or how people are first exposed to them. These news classes will teach all of that.”
The first sessions will be offered Feb. 9, March 2 and March 30 in the early evenings.
The Minnesota Department of Health provided grants to fund for the classes. All sessions will be taught by licensed alcohol and drug counselor Randy Anderson, founder of Bold North Recovery and Consulting.
Minnesota State law allows anyone at risk for having or witnessing a drug overdose to obtain a prescription for naloxone, which is also know by the brand name Narcan. Upon completion of the online training, the Sheriff’s Office will mail participants a supply of naloxone, free of charge.
To join a session of the opioid awareness class or request a free Deterra drug disposal bag, send an email to email@example.com.
The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office also recommends the following resources for those struggling with addiction. Call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or reach out to Hennepin County social services at 612-348-4111.