Who We Are: Alcohol and Other Drugs - Minnesota Department of Health

About Alcohol and Other Drugs

The Alcohol and Other Drugs program provides reliable information and data to help inform policy and guide change to help reduce the use of alcohol and other drugs. The program helps identify strategies to support community conditions to prevent alcohol and drug use. This means supporting communities and people in addressing the root causes of alcohol and substance use disorders, which go far beyond the individual person, specific substance, or community.

Our goals:

  • Provide credible information to help inform decisions and policy
  • Use data to help connect the dots between alcohol and drugs and other conditions, and take action
  • Help assess communities’ alcohol and drug-related harms and engage communities in decision-making
  • Reduce harms, including death, associated with alcohol and other drugs
  • Raise awareness of what alcohol and drug use looks like in Minnesota

Alcohol and drug use in Minnesota:

Alcohol and other drugs are a concern in Minnesota. While Minnesota is often ranked high among overall health measures, Minnesota continues to rank low when it comes to alcohol use. Alcohol and drug use contribute to chronic disease, intentional and unintentional injuries, social and family disruption, and overdose and death.

  • Alcohol contributes to more deaths and illnesses than most other drugs, in large part because it used by more people than other drugs.
  • The majority of Minnesotans, 63.7%, reported drinking alcohol in 2016.
  • Overall drug overdose deaths increased by 16% from 2015 to 2016.
  • Overdose deaths involving psychostimulants, such as meth, had a sharp increase between 2015 and 2016.

For additional data on alcohol see the Alcohol Quick Facts.

For additional data and information on opioids and related harms visit the Opioid Dashboard.

Alcohol and other drugs-related harms

Alcohol and other drugs are related to a number of harms including:

  • Cancer
  • Chronic diseases including cirrhosis
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)
  • Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)
  • Motor vehicle crashes
  • Overdose and death
  • Risky behaviors
  • Sexual violence
  • Suicide
  • Unintentional injuries, such as falls
  • Violence and injuries from violence


The Minnesota Department of Health receives funding from federal, state, and other sources to support one-time and on-going projects to address alcohol and drug use in Minnesota. Excessive alcohol use prevention is funded through the CDC alcohol program. Opioid and drug overdose prevention funding is provided through a number of channels. For complete information see Funding to MDH for Opioid/Drug Overdose Prevention.

Get involved

Sign up for the Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) weekly update to get information on events, data and research, and more.

Kari Gloppen at kari.gloppen@state.mn.us for alcohol-related data information
Nate Wright at nate.wright@state.mn.us for opioid data-related information
Sam Robertson at sam.robertson@state.mn.us for opioid questions and opioid dashboard contributions
Dana Farley at dana.farley@state.mn.us for policy or program information


Opioid Dashboard – a one-stop shop for opioid-related data and information.
Opioid Misuse, Substance Use Disorder, and Overdose Prevention - State Plan – information on state efforts to address opioid overdose prevention.
Tobacco Control and Prevention 
Substance Use in Minnesota – SUMN.org – provides data on over 100 indicators of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug consumption patterns, consequences, and contributing factors in Minnesota.

Updated Wednesday, 23-Mar-2022 12:24:51 CDT