An abundance of Minnesota families rallied at the state capitol unifying a statement which resonated throughout the halls of our lawmakers. We will no longer allow our children, our friends, and our neighbors to be taken from us. In support of our landmark legislation, the Opiate Product Stewardship (SF730, HF1440), the likes of which is the first of its kind in the nation, communities stood beside us at the historic Opioid Awareness Day.
For many, this day represents more than a platform to spread awareness; it’s a catalyst for changing the deeply rooted culture of over prescribing influenced by the drug manufacturers, honoring those we’ve lost, celebrating recovery and providing solutions to tide the increasing amount of deaths in our state.
Opioids. ENOUGH ALREADY!
The Opioid Product Stewardship Bill will provide important and sustainable funding to combat this national epidemic that’s killing our friends and family members. The bill has the potential to raise an estimated $22 million by increasing manufacturers’ already existing licensing fee to include one cent per morphine milligram equivalent on all opioids sold in an outpatient setting in the state of Minnesota.
The revenue generated from the licensing fee will be used to expand services for individuals addicted to opiates. A portion of the funds will be allocated for:
- competitive grants for one or more non-profit organizations involved with expanding prescriber education, public awareness and overdose prevention program development and sustainability, to include the public and emergency medical services.
- creating and maintaining a continuum of care from detox through sober living.
- Supporting families, communities and all individuals in our state impacted by the disease of addiction to opiates.
Opioid Awareness Day began with constituents meeting with their representatives where they told their stories, shared the facts and urged their representatives to support the solutions to the opioid crisis in our state.
…as we moved through the day and I visited with all the families who had lost their beautiful family members, I knew we were there to assure others are spared from the torment we face every day. We were there to honor those lost, but we are motivated by those that still live. WE are here to save lives.
A press conference followed, where key supporters and experts enlightened the media and public about the magnitude and origin of the opioid crisis along with the solutions offered by recent legislation. Speakers at the press conference included chief authors of the Opioid Stewardship Program, Sen. Julie Rosen and Rep. Dave Baker along with long-time advocate and friend of the Foundation, Sen. Chris Eaton. Others included our executive director, Lexi Reed Holtum and her courageous daughter, Isabella, board members, Shelly Elkington and Dr. Chris Johnson, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Emily Piper, Attorney General Lori Swanson, Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek and an EMT from Hennepin County Medical Center, Nathan Koranda.
Others experts included:
- Dr. Kurt Devine, CHI St. Gabriel’s Health
- Dr. Marvin Seppala, Hazelden Betty Ford
- Cody Wiberg, Board of Pharmacy
- Chris Edrington, Executive Director of St. Paul Sober Living
The day ended with a rally in the capitol rotunda. Key speakers and those that have been directly impacted by the public health crisis spoke to a mass of orange, an audience unified by orange ribbons and apparel. Families bore photos of their children, siblings, and friends on posters and shirts.
Thank you to everyone that assisted in organizing, leading, and supporting this historic day and our landmark legislation.
Video courtesy of KMSP-TV.