A strong focus on prevention and education is where we can invest in the infrastructure that will truly change the long-term state of Addiction and Substance Use Disorder.

Taking the lead in prevention activity locally are the GF Public Schools and Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition. Leveraging statewide resources (see additional links) with local action, we are focusing on prevention and education, primarily to our young people.

 What we're working on (from the Action Plan):

Public Education Campaigns – Produce or use State campaigns on education re: Stigma, reducing substance abuse & addressing social norms.

Evaluate Existing Curricula – Use surveys, focus groups, etc. to evaluate existing curricula in public schools and recommend changes.

Continue Opioid Mgmt – Continue ongoing efforts & increase training.

Promote Activities for Youth - As a preventative measure, consider how to increase access to & involvement in youth activities.

Develop local resource website – Aggregate and organize resources & info from community agencies/orgs.

Promote Medication “Lock/Monitor/Takeback” – Promote existing state program on abuse of prescription opioids.

Appoint/Employ Coordinator – Backbone support to ensure efforts are effectively accomplished.

Licensed Addiction Counselors (LAC) in ER and in Public Schools – Evaluate feasibility of LAC’s in targeted areas.

Explore Call Center – To support access to information (See Website).

Promote Basic Human Welfare – As a preventative action, ensure housing, food & transportation are available.



Here are some of the Prevention Themes we've heard to help guide the Prevention Action Group:

•Community is good at promoting positive health and offering prevention in schools (Olweus, Character Ed., SRO’s, Faded Forum, etc.)
•More prevention needed but also raise awareness of existing efforts
•Can do better at understanding the full impact of mental health on the community and reducing the stigma of addiction
•Hurdles to prevention are time, money and resources; awareness, addiction services and pooling resources
•Some question as to what is the community’s responsibility versus the individual’s
•Some barriers to education include getting youth attention, getting parent’s attention, and finding the right message
•What are the right ways to engage? (public presentations, social media, flyers, etc.?)
•Other barriers include denial of “won’t happen to my family”. Many felt it won’t happen to them, to their family or to their friends
•Still another barrier are Grand Forks social norms, esp. alcohol
•More awareness is needed about how Mental Health issues relate to addiction, particularly in children and specifically related to trauma

If you're willing, please share your contact information to help change the face of addiction in our region.

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