MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office recently conducted a one-day, snap-shot study on opioid abuse.

They had officials interview all 851 inmates in the county jail on December 6 and discovered that one in five of them reported a history of opioid use or abuse.

Of those surveyed, 20 percent said they abused opioids, with a majority of those users saying that they suffered an overdose. Almost all who overdosed reported that they were administered an anti-overdose drug, like naloxone.

“We need to get ahead of this crisis, it is the deadliest drug epidemic in our nation’s history,” Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek said, at a news confernce. “We need to do more to prevent opioid abuse way before it begins.”

The sheriff also said that the number of opioid related deaths last year would likely have been much higher, perhaps 105 deaths higher, if it were not for anti-overdose drugs being available to first-responders.

The snap-shot study was conducted in a partnership between the sheriff’s office and Hennepin Healthcare.

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