ST. PAUL -- There is a new podcast series that addresses the issue of opioid abuse.

"Stories from the Field" is put together by the Minnesota Department of Health and includes a number of experts in the health care field including Dr. Ryan Kelly of Minneapolis.

He says in many cases people who get addicted start with pills prescribed to them by their doctor, but that can evolve rapidly.

It doesn't matter the paths that someone took to become dependant on opioids, when you throw in the social drivers of health, lack of affordable housing, etc. the most affordable opioids right now for people that can't get them prescribed from medical providers are heroin or something cheaper now are much more potent versions of fentanyl.

Kelly says it is time to move beyond the idea that someone is choosing to use drugs and instead focus on increased access to help them.

In 2020 Minnesota had 373 overdose deaths in just the first six months of the year, compared to 428 deaths in all of 2019.

MN Listens is a once-a-month feature on the News @ Noon show where we highlight Minnesota-based podcasts.

Get our free mobile app

The 25 Best Places to Live in Minnesota

Stacker compiled a list of the best places to live in Minnesota using data from Niche. Niche ranks places to live based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, health care, recreation, and weather. Cities, suburbs, and towns were included. Listings and images are from

On the list, there's a robust mix of offerings from great schools and nightlife to high walkability and public parks. Some areas have enjoyed rapid growth thanks to new businesses moving to the area, while others offer glimpses into area history with well-preserved architecture and museums. Keep reading to see if your hometown made the list.