Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office Opioid Awareness Classes Now Available in Person to Tackle Dangers of Addiction

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hennepin county sheriff

Press Release


Media Contact: Andy Skoogman, 612-919-5918


Hennepin County Sheriff's Office Opioid Awareness Classes Now Available in Person to Tackle Dangers of Addiction


July 23, 2021 (Minneapolis) - In January 2021, Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson launched an online educational initiative on the dangers of the opioid addiction epidemic, which continues to grow in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, these free classes have educated about 150 Hennepin County residents on the dangers of opioids, signs of addiction, treatment options, the proper administration of Naloxone, and more.

Today, Sheriff Hutchinson is proud to announce that these classes will be made available in a hybrid model, offering the opportunity to attend online or in person. The in-person option of the classes will follow Hennepin County’s guidelines for indoor events. Unvaccinated individuals will be required to wear masks, and the classroom will be arranged to allow proper social distancing. This class will be offered multiple times for free and is open to all. The next sessions are scheduled for July 27, August 10, and September 13 at 5 p.m. at the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Communication Facility, 1245 Shenandoah Lane North, Plymouth, MN 55447.

“As with many problems, the pandemic only seemed to make the opioid addiction epidemic worse,” said Sheriff David Hutchinson. “At the current pace, there will be more opioid-related deaths in 2021 than 2020, which was in turn up from 2019. That’s why it is critically important to educate people about the dangers presented by opioids before they first encounter these drugs. Knowing what makes them so dangerous, what makes them addictive, how people are first exposed to them, and how to properly administer naloxone may mean the difference between life and death.”

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. All 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. 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 training, the HCSO will provide participating Hennepin County residents with a supply of naloxone, free of change. Participants from outside of Hennepin County are welcome as well. Upon completion of the training, non-residents will be provided a local resource for securing a supply of naloxone.

In addition to offering these opioid education classes, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office is still offering free Deterra drug disposal bags by mail to anyone who would like to safely dispose of unwanted or unused medications in their own home. To join a session of the opioid awareness class or request a Deterra 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.



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