DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — A northeastern Minnesota county has launched a new three-pronged approach to combating the opioid epidemic.

St. Louis County is partnering with clinics and health care providers to bring opioid prescribers in line with best practices recommended by the state. The Public Health and Human Services Department, with support from the Minnesota Department of Health, is working to decrease the supply of opioids in the area by promoting safe disposal of unused medication.

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Minnesota Public Radio News says the county also is stepping up preventative screening efforts by health care providers.

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St. Louis County has seen a spike in opioid overdose deaths in recent years. Heroin and opioid drug overdose deaths have increased 108 percent between 2011 and 2015.

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