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Drug use resource hub opens in north Minneapolis after state legalizes safe injection sites

Without a lot of fanfare, drug counselor Miles Hamlin opened a resource hub in north Minneapolis on Tuesday for drug users to get sterile needles, fentanyl test strips and Narcan. They can shower, do their laundry and cook a meal. People who go there might even use drugs on site. The staff will be trained to reverse overdoses.

"We're really trying to just focus on being a resource for people who use drugs to access no-barriers services," Hamlin said, emphasizing that he would allow clients and the surrounding community to dictate how the center is used.

Hamlin founded the nonprofit Minnesota Overdose Awareness in 2022 after more than a decade holding vigils in Loring Park for friends and clients who have died, trying to draw attention to Minneapolis' large racial disparities in overdoses. There were more than 1,000 fatal opioid overdoses in 2022 statewide, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. In Minneapolis, Black people are four times more likely to die of an opioids overdose than whites. For Native Americans, it's 30 to 1.


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