Opioid addiction is a real problem in The Northland. The approach to solve this crisis is complicated. The Duluth Police Department is working towards getting these dangerous drugs off the street, but also realize there is the need to help those who are suffering from opioid addiction.

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The Duluth Police Department recently received a grant for nearly 900,000 dollars to expand the Opioid Response Program over three years. The money will be used to continute to fund their efforts and expand their focus to also include methamphetamines, and speed up out reach and assessment efforts. Police Chief Mike Tusken applauds the efforts of Opioid Response Technician Jess Nickila in her efforts to help people struggling with addiction in our community.

Our existing Opioid Response Technician, Jess Nickila, has done a tremendous job with outreach and advocacy for people who are suffering from the scourge of addiction. In her work, Jess lifts people up by giving them hope for a fresh start through her compassionate focus on saving lives and getting healthy. To be able to expand the reach of the hard work she is doing, we will save and renew lives while at the same time limiting the demand for opioids in our
community.”

They are trying to get the word out to those that need help with addiction to reach out without fear of judgement. They shared this message recently on their Facebook page.

This aligns with the police department's three-pronged approach to solving the drug problem in our region. They will continue to work through enforcement to remove the drugs from the street. The PD will also work on educating and normalizing discussion about addiction, and also get those who are struggling the help and resources they need.

You can call the opioid response technician at 218-391-9639. You can also find a list of places to help with other addictions and issues on their website.

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