Drug overdose deaths in Minnesota up by 20 percent in 2019, new record high increase

New numbers released by the Minnesota Department of Health Tuesday show a 20 percent increasing in drug overdose deaths in 2019, reversing an improvement seen in 2018. 

The 20 percent increase was 4 percent higher than the previous record high increase seen in 2017. 

MDH says the use of synthetic opioids like fentanyl and psychostimulant like methamphetamine increased substantially from 2018 to 2019. 

Deaths related to synthetic opioids alone increased nearly 50 percent, with most involving fentanyl. 

Non-fatal emergency room visits for opioid-involved overdoses also increased.