City seeks input on addiction challenge

Addiction subcommittees seek public feedback

Subcommittees working on drug addiction problems in Minot are looking for community input to help develop action plans.

The Mayor’s Committee on Addiction met Thursday to assess the progress of six subcommittees that have been tackling specific aspects of the problem.

The aftercare subcommittee will meet Monday at 4 p.m. in the Minot Public Schools Administration Building board room to discuss concerns of aftercare ranging from housing and jobs to recovery services. The public is invited to attend and provide feedback.

Chairman Mark Vollmer, superintendent at Minot Public Schools, said he already has heard from several parents concerned about drug issues. Many have stories they are wanting to share to help others, he said.

“Every parent I talk to, they all have a tragic story,” he said. “We have a wealth of knowledge in our community in people who have experienced this either as a user or a family member or a support structure. We need to find a way to tap into that because we are not going to be able to build the mental health capacity and the counselor capacity in our community. So how do we find a volunteer support group to move that forward?”

The Family Services Subcommittee is holding a public meeting Sept. 7 at 6:30 p.m. in Minot Municipal Auditorium to take input from families and recovering addicts regarding roadblocks they have encountered in seeking treatment or support. The subcommittee will be looking for solutions that can be included in an action plan.

The health and safety subcommittee will meet Sept. 6 at 6 p.m. in the Auditorium. It will be discussing issues such as needle exchange, take-back prescription and opioid antidote programs. It also is addressing disease and violence prevention.

Paul Stroklund, chairman of education and outreach, reported that subcommittee has identified a number of groups that it wants to reach with education. It plans to craft its message and develop media for public speaking presentations in the community.

There also will be an International Overdose Awareness Day observance Aug. 31 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Oak Park Amphitheater. The event includes several speakers, including those in addiction recovery, and will provide information to help recognize and prevent overdoses.