Community-based Solutions to the Opioid Crisis in Rural Minnesota

Partnering with Rural Minnesota Communities to Combat the Opioid Crisis

women walking

A Community Capacity Building Approach to Addressing the Opioid Crisis in Rural Counties Across Minnesota

Our mission is to work collaboratively with community partners in Aitkin, Itasca, Pine and North St. Louis Counties and Minnesota Tribal Nations to increase community capacity in addressing the opioid crisis.

(SAMHSA) Rural Opioid Technical Assistance Grant

This project engages with rural Minnesota counties and tribal communities that suffer a disproportionate burden from the opioid crisis. Read more

USDA-NIFA Rural Health and Safety Education Grant

This project promotes community protective factors and reduces risk factor impact to prevent opioid use and support sustained recovery. Read more

The Focus

camera iconThe focus of this project is to develop and uplift community-based solutions to the opioid crisis and community capacity building with partners most impacted by the opioid crisis in rural Minnesota.

The Approach

arrows iconThe approach of this project is to collectively build on existing partnerships with local, regional, state, and national agencies to enhance opioid prevention efforts and build systems and supports to reduce overdoses and expand understanding and options for treatment.

The Framework

cube iconTo effectively and sustainably address the opioid crisis in rural communities by providing supports and building capacity for individuals, families and communities. These supports (or their absence) are Recovery Capitals and when high, individuals and communities are better able to prevent opioid misuse and effectively maintain long-term recovery and sobriety.

The Partnerships

hands together iconThis project brings together expertise from the University of Minnesota Extension, Center for Family Development and Center for Community Vitality, and the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, Duluth and works cooperatively with dedicated local partners on the front line of facing the opioid crisis in rural Minnesota.

Community partners include Aitkin County Health & Human Services, Itasca County Health & Human Services, north St. Louis County Public Health, and Pine County Public Health & Human Services, as well as several Minnesota Tribal Nations, to promote community protective factors and reduce the impact of risk factors to prevent opioid use and support sustained recovery.

The project utilizes the theory of Recovery Capital as the basis of its work and will develop a local community leadership group of Change Makers, increased capacity in local recovery organizations, a Framework for assessing community Recovery Capital and a Toolkit for creating Recovery Capital in rural communities

In the News

2/14/19 Duluth News Tribune story, "$1.5 million in grants target opioids in rural northern Minnesota."

2/13/19 University of Minnesota Extension news story, "As opioid crisis continues, new grant connects communities to resources in Extension and College of Pharmacy."

12/27/18 Pine County Courier front page news story, "Pine County receives grant to combat opioid crisis."

12/27/18 Hinckley News front page news story, "County awarded grants to help fight opioid crisis."

12/27/18 Askov American news story, "County receives two grants for opioid recovery."


Jennifer Garbow, M.Ed
(218) 209-7170

Mary Jo Katras, PhD

Laura Palombi, PharmD, MPH, MAT, AE-C

Lori Rothstein, M.A.

Naloxone: A Critical Tool to Fight the Opioid Crisis

A resource site/presentation for pharmacists and providers who wish to learn more about factors that increase individuals' risk of opioid overdose, identify signs and symptoms of opioid overdose, and understand the pros and cons of different naloxone formulations. The presentation will review resources patients may use to access naloxone, describe legal considerations for prescribing and dispensing of naloxone in Minnesota, and discuss available naloxone and opioid resources for healthcare providers and patients.  Go to naloxone webpage/ presentation