Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

As Twin Cities opioid overdoses surge, officials lean into drug prevention, education


October 10, 2022

Glen Stubbe, Star Tribune

Scientists at the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension have had to take extra precautions including having doses of Narcan available when processing seized narcotics because of the surge of drugs laced with deadly synthetic opioids.

Christopher Burks moved to Minnesota years ago to find sobriety. For a long time, like many people recovering from drug addiction, he had trouble maintaining it.

Burks, 49, overdosed six times and relapsed many more over 25 years as he experimented with drugs like crack cocaine and methamphetamine. Things finally changed for the Ohio native, now a peer recovery specialist at the Twin Cities Recovery Project, when his granddaughter was born.

"Her mother asked me, 'What is your grandbaby going to call you?' because I was never around. Basically, 'Are you even going to be a part of your granddaughter's life?'" said Burks, measured and clear as he reminisces about painful memories. "I knew, right then and there, I needed to make a change."


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