State lawmakers are meeting to try to reach agreement on differing House and Senate versions of bills aimed at combating the opioid crisis in Minnesota. State Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm told legislators…

“What we’re experiencing here in Minnesota both paints a stark picture of the loss and the tragedy that the opioid crisis represents but also the hope, because we actually do know through Minnesota experience that healing can happen and that prevention does work.”

Malcolm says there has been a nearly 700-percent increase in opioid-involved overdose deaths in Minnesotan since the year 2000. Lawmakers are considering bills establishing an opioid addiction advisory council and an opioid stewardship fund.