Public Awareness Campaign Underway to Address Opioid Abuse in North Dakota


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CITY, N.D. ( – Governor Doug Burgum talked about the importance of helping those who suffer from opioid addiction during his visit to Valley City on November 21st.

City County Health Director Theresa Will told the Governor that more addiction counselors are needed and how she’s having a hard time hiring people to fill the void.

Governor Burgum responded by saying peer facilitators could help those seeking treatment. He also shared a story about a North Dakota family that saved their son by giving him narcan following an overdose.

Jo Heisler is the director of the Sanford Clinic in Valley City. She agreed with Governor Burgum when he said we need to treat drug abuse like any other disease instead of shaming people who are addicted.

Earlier this year, Valley City was one of six North Dakota communities to received funding to help prevent opioid abuse.

City County Health Director Theresa Will said the $180,000 grant from the North Dakota Department of Human Services will be used to develop support and education to prevent or decrease opioid use in this area over the next five years. She talked about the focus during the Barnes County opioid STR grant advisory meeting on November 28th.

Valley City Police Chief Phil Hatcher is a member of this advisory committee. He talked with reporter Steve Urness about the important of getting help for those addicted to opioids.

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