Health fair, other events come together to combat addiction

As part of efforts to combat drug addiction in the Minot area, the city and local organizations plan to host an all-day health fair in the Minot State University Wellness Center on April 10.

The fair is one of the anti-drug activities coming together even as the Mayor’s Committee on Addiction continues to develop a comprehensive plan to educate the public and expand treatment services to address what has been described as an epidemic both locally and nationally.

At a meeting Thursday, the mayor’s committee gave a final review to proposals of its subcommittees before those ideas are crafted into a working document. The committee hopes to review the final document in a few weeks before releasing it to the public for comments.

“The first thing we need to really do is say, ‘What does recovery in Minot look like and what is this plan?'” said Mark Vollmer, superintendent of Minot Public Schools. He said that plan is important in seeking grants and in approaching the Legislature.

“And I see us going to the Legislature on this. Where do you want your money to be spent? Do we want it spent on treatment or do we want it spent on incarceration?” he said.

Once the plan is in place, the next step will be to set up new subcommittees to develop more specific actions for implementing the proposals, Mayor Chuck Barney said.

Meanwhile, various activities already are taking place. In addition to the upcoming fair, the school district is proposing parent forums for Minot schools and other nearby schools yet this school term.

A family support group on addiction has formed and will hold its first meeting next Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at First District Health Unit. Meetings will be held the first and third Thursday of each month.

The mayor’s committee discussed strengthening the faith-based portion of its plan and intends to set up a meeting with churches to discuss ways to get them involved.