Sharp increase in opioid deaths in Bemidji area

Bemidji Police Chief Mike Mastin says that in the first two weeks of 2021, there have been more opioid overdose deaths than in all of the year 2019 within the city.

Some of the signs of opioid use include extreme lethargy, and Mastin said that in cases of overdose, the opioid will slow down respiration and heart rate to the point those functions of the body stop.

All Bemidji Police Officers and Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office deputies are equipped and trained in the use of Narcan, a lifesaving drug that can bring an overdosed patient back to life.

The full interview with Chief Mastin is available below.


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers all the beats in north-central Minnesota, such as local government, crime, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University.


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