Hennepin County Sheriff Announces Online Opioid Awareness Class to Tackle Dangers of Addiction During COVID-19 Pandemic

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Press Release


Media Contact: Andy Skoogman, 612-919-5918


Hennepin County Sheriff Announces Online Opioid Awareness Class to Tackle Dangers of Addiction During COVID-19 Pandemic

January 28, 2021 (Minneapolis) - Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson today announced a new educational initiative on the dangers of the opioid addiction epidemic, which continues to grow in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sheriff Hutchinson said the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) will soon offer a new online class that will cover the dangers of opioids, signs of addiction, treatment options, the proper administration of Naloxone, and more. This class will be offered multiple times for free and is open to all.

“At this point, most people know that opioids are some of the most dangerous drugs in the world today,” Sheriff Hutchinson said. “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 with the goal of reversing the tragic trend of opioid addiction.”

The first sessions of the online opioid awareness class will be offered February 9, March 2, and March 30 in the early evenings. These sessions will include training on how to properly administer Naloxone, also known by the brand name Narcan®, a prescription medicine that reverses an opioid overdose. Funding for the classes has been provided through grants from the Minnesota Department of Health. All sessions will be taught by licensed alcohol and drug counselor Randy Anderson, founder of Bold North Recovery and Consulting.

This new class is the latest tool in the HCSO’s on-going efforts to battle opioid addiction during the pandemic.  Since COVID-19 has prevented so many in-person events, the HCSO is also mailing Deterra drug disposal bags and hosting online Naloxone training.

“The opioid addiction crisis has not gone away during the pandemic,” said Sheriff 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. If you know someone living with addiction, knowing how to properly administer naloxone may mean the difference between life and death.”

Naloxone is safe and effective and has been used by emergency medical professionals for decades. Minnesota State law allows anyone at risk for having or witnessing a drug overdose to obtain a prescription for naloxone. Upon completion of the online training, the HCSO will mail the participant a supply of naloxone, free of change.

To join a session of the opioid awareness class or request a free Deterra drug disposal bag, send an email to drugdisposal@hennepin.us.

If you or someone close to you is struggling with addiction, resources are available. 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.


This release has been updated to fix a broken email hyperlink.

Look for more news on the Hennepin County Sheriff's website at http://www.hennepinsheriff.org.