St. Louis County was recently awarded $675,000 of federal money to improve opioid addiction treatment.

The grant was given following troubling statistics that the area is struggling with the most overdose deaths per capita in the state.

Now Senator Amy Klobuchar is collecting information from the county to discuss the best way to use that money. Just last year more than 600 people died of drug overdoses in Minnesota, 60 percent of those cases were due to opioids.

Tuesday, Senator Klobuchar met with some key people in the fight against addiction. They talked strategies and what exactly is needed in St. Louis County to save lives.

“The goal is to not have people die of overdoses,” said Lt. Jeff Kazel, Commander of the Lake Superior Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force. “Unfortunately we have a higher occurrence of that in this area. We want that number down, want it to be zero.”

This is the third round-table of its type that’s been held in Duluth.

It was a packed room Tuesday afternoon, with people from several different areas in the fight against addiction.

“We want the smartest people around that table who are looking at this one issue from all of those different agencies,” said Duluth Mayor Emily Larson. “People from law enforcement, treatment, public health and planning.”

Roundtables were also held Tuesday in Virginia and Cloquet. Mayor Emily Larson says we can expect to see many more round tables on this issue.