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Opioid Prescribing Guidelines Public Comment Period

From: MN_DHS_Opioid
Sent: Tuesday, December 05, 2017 1:00 PM
Subject: Opioid Prescribing Guidelines Public Comment Period *** Comments accepted until December 30, 2017 at 4 pm

Good Afternoon,

As many of you are aware, the complete set of opioid prescribing recommendations developed under the DHS Opioid Prescribing Improvement Program was announced on Friday, December 1. The draft prescribing recommendations are available on the Opioid Prescribing Work Group web site here or at I have also attached the guidance for your review and distribution.

DHS is accepting public comments on the prescribing guidelines until 4 pm on December 30, 2017. Please distribute the guidance to members of your communities or networks who are interested in this topic.

DHS will collect comments and respond to questions about the guidance during the public comment period. After the public comment period, the Opioid Prescribing Work Group will review the comments submitted and determine whether to make changes to the recommendations. Revisions are subject to approval from the commissioners of Human Services and Health.

DHS may post public comments on its website, but will not post comments it finds to be inappropriate or comments that contain confidential information. Comments that contain confidential information may be posted, however, if the confidential information is redacted.

Comments may be submitted to this email address: or by mail to the address below.

Minnesota Department of Human Services
Opioid Prescribing Improvement Program
PO Box 64983
St. Paul, MN 55164-0983

Thank you,


Sarah Rinn, MPH

OPIP Coordinator | Health Care Administration

Minnesota Department of Human Services

Toll of the failed Colorado experiment

Five years later, Colorado sees toll of pot legalization

Published: Tuesday, November 14, 2017 | Colorado Springs Gazette Opinion

Last week marked the fifth anniversary of Colorado’s decision to sanction the world’s first anything-goes commercial pot trade.

Five years later, we remain an embarrassing cautionary tale.

Visitors to Colorado remark about a new agricultural smell, the wafting odor of pot as they drive near warehouse grow operations along Denver freeways. Residential neighborhoods throughout Colorado Springs reek of marijuana, as producers fill rental homes with plants.

Five years of retail pot coincide with five years of a homelessness growth rate that ranks among the highest rates in the country. Directors of homeless shelters, and people who live on the streets, tell us homeless substance abusers migrate here for easy access to pot.

Five years of Big Marijuana ushered in a doubling in the number of drivers involved in fatal crashes who tested positive for marijuana, based on research by the pro-legalization Denver Post.

Five years of commercial pot have been five years of more marijuana in schools than teachers and administrators ever feared.

“An investigation by Education News Colorado, Solutions and the I-News Network shows drug violations reported by Colorado’s K-12 schools have increased 45 percent in the past four years, even as the combined number of all other violations has fallen,” explains an expose on escalating pot use in schools by Rocky Mountain PBS in late 2016.

The investigation found an increase in high school drug violations of 71 percent since legalization. School suspensions for drugs increased 45 percent.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health found Colorado ranks first in the country for marijuana use among teens, scoring well above the national average.

The only good news to celebrate on this anniversary is the dawn of another organization to push back against Big Marijuana’s threat to kids, teens and young adults.

The Marijuana Accountability Coalition formed Nov. 6 in Denver and will establish satellites throughout the state. It resulted from discussions among recovery professionals, parents, physicians and others concerned with the long-term effects of a commercial industry profiteering off of substance abuse.

“It’s one thing to decriminalize marijuana, it’s an entirely different thing to legalize an industry that has commercialized a drug that is devastating our kids and devastating whole communities,” said coalition founder Justin Luke Riley. “Coloradans need to know, other states need to know, that Colorado is suffering from massive normalization and commercialization of this drug which has resulted in Colorado being the number one state for youth drug use in the country. Kids are being expelled at higher rates, and more road deaths tied to pot have resulted since legalization.”

Commercial pot’s five-year anniversary is an odious occasion for those who want safer streets, healthier kids and less suffering associated with substance abuse. Experts say the worst effects of widespread pot use will culminate over decades. If so, we can only imagine the somber nature of Big Marijuana’s 25th birthday.

  • — Colorado Springs Gazette

Fentanyl Exposure

Please see the email below from our Medical Officer, Dr. John Halpin, for important scientific and practical resources on fentanyl exposure among emergency responders:

Over the weekend, the American College of Medical Toxicologists released an authoritative, well-researched position paper on “preventing occupational fentanyl and fentanyl analog exposure to emergency responders.” It can be accessed at the following link:

One key feature of this document is that it clarifies the role of dermal exposure to illicitly-manufactured fentanyl and fentanyl analogs as a health hazard for first responders, noting that dermal toxicity is, in fact, very low for the powdered fentanyl products, and that standard universal precautions, and in some cases an N95 mask for respiratory protection, are sufficient protection for law enforcement and other first responders. It should be noted that NIOSH has recently updated their guidance on this topic, and this guidance can be found at the following link: