The city of Maple Grove is among metro-area cities seeing an increase in cases related to opioids and overdoses from opioids.
By the numbers, Maple Grove has had:
• In 2010 — 9 overdoses
• In 2016 — 30 overdoses
• In 2017 — 49 overdoses
• In 2018 — 50 overdoses
Maple Grove police officers recently started carrying Narcan, which is a medication used to block the effects of opioids especially in an overdose situation. In 2017, officers administered Narcan nine times in five cases. In 2018, there were 13 administered doses in eight cases. In four of the cases, bystanders administered Narcan, since the public has access to it now.
“You’ll see we are trying, from a public safety perspective, to do our best to deal with opioid situation,” Chief Werner said.
Maple Grove Police’s approach is to do the best they can to respond to the best the department can. “We’ve trained our staff how to use Narcan,” Chief Werner said. “We’re tracking the overdose cases if possible.”
Chief Werner added the tracking is done to find out where the drugs came from for potential criminal liability to the suppler.
The Maple Grove Police Department is also findings ways to prevent opioid misuse through education and programs. Information has been provided to the public at National Night Out and during town hall meetings.
Another way to help the crisis, was back in 2015 the first medication disposal drop box in Hennepin County was placed in the lobby of the Maple Grove Police Department. This was made possible through a collaboration of the Maple Grove Police Department, Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, Hennepin County Environment and Energy Department, the Maple Grove Lions Club and Partnership for Change.
The drop box is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week to dispose safely of household prescription medications (including controlled substances), over-the-counter medications, vitamins and supplements, and even pet medicines.
Since 2015, over 8,000 pounds of drugs have been taken back in Maple Grove.