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Opioid forum scheduled in Duluth

OxyContin, in 80 mg pills, in a 2013 file image. (Liz O. Baylen/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

A community forum set for next week in Duluth will provide the public with an update on local efforts to combat opioid addiction.

The discussion will be hosted by the Opioid Abuse Response Strategies group from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday at the American Indian Community Housing Organization, 202 W. Second St.

OARS formed in 2013 as a coalition of county officials, law enforcement, medical professionals, treatment providers and other community members working to combat the abuse of prescription painkillers and street drugs like heroin.

St. Louis County ranked second per capita in the state in opioid deaths in 2016, the most recent year for which data is available. The county has averaged about 20 opioid overdose deaths each year since 2011 after seeing virtually no such cases in the preceding decade, according to Minnesota Department of Health statistics.