Press Release: Sheriff’s Office teams up with Minnesota Vikings to tackle the opioid epidemic

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hennepin county sherriffs office

Press Release


Media Contact: Jon Collins, 612-919-5918

Sheriff’s Office teams up with Minnesota Vikings to tackle the opioid epidemic 

October 13, 2017 (MINNEAPOLIS) – The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office is partnering with the Minnesota Vikings to help share the #NOverdose opioid prevention message during the team’s upcoming home game against the Green Bay Packers.

On game day, Sunday, October 15, 2017, the Sheriff’s Office will educate fans about the opioid epidemic and prevention at the #NOverdose booth located in The Commons park area outside of U.S. Bank Stadium. Volunteers at the booth will provide information about statewide medicine disposal locations and the dangers of prescription drug abuse.

“We continue to see record numbers of opioid-related deaths both here in Hennepin County, and around the county,” said Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek. “Every one of these overdose deaths is tragic and every one of them is preventable. For that reason, we are grateful for partnerships with organizations such as the Vikings who can help us share this important message with the community.”

The Sheriff's Office #NOverdose booth will open around 9 a.m. and game kick-off will be at noon. 

Game attendees and the general public are invited to stop by the #NOverdose booth to learn about proper medication disposal and receive a free giveaway item. 


2016 was a record year for opioid-related deaths in Hennepin County with 153 opioid-related deaths, a 39 percent increase over 2015. During January through August of 2017 there were 100 opioid-related deaths, a 10 percent increase from the same time last year.

Due to the record number of opioid-related deaths during 2016 in Hennepin County, the Sheriff’s Office launched a drug abuse prevention campaign called #NOverdose. As part of the campaign, the Sheriff’s Office has partnered with school-parent organizations, law enforcement agencies, elected officials, businesses, and health & community organizations to assist educating the community about current drug dangers, trends and prevention.

Medication collection

Sheriff Stanek, in collaboration with the Hennepin County Environment and Energy Department, started the medication collection program in February 2012 when the first collection boxes were made available at Sheriff's Office locations in Spring Park, Brooklyn Park and downtown Minneapolis. During the past five years, the number of collection sites has grown to 11 boxes throughout the county, with several local police departments introducing boxes in their lobbies.

The Sheriff’s Office recently reached a milestone in its efforts to combat the opioid epidemic as it surpassed 100,000 pounds (50 tons) of household medication collected since the program began. 

Seventy percent of prescription drug abusers say that they obtained their supply of prescription medications from friends and family. Properly disposing of prescription medication, such as opioids, can significantly decrease the likelihood of individuals having access to these highly addictive drugs.

Properly disposing of unused medication is not only important to prevent drug abuse and poisoning, but also to protect the environment. The medication that is collected by the Sheriff's Office is destroyed by incineration, a method that has been found to be the most environmentally friendly while also rendering the drugs inert.

To learn more about the Sheriff’s Office #NOverdose campaign and medication collection program click here.

- HCSO -

Look for more news on the Hennepin County Sheriff's website at