Grand Forks city leaders were eager to share an updated community action plan against opioid abuse Monday night, eighteen months after Mayor Mike Brown issued his call to action.
The plan, some of which has been completed and some of which is ongoing, focuses on four areas, those being prevention, intervention, recovery and communication.
Grand Forks already promoted preventative activities for youth, developed a local website and raised awareness for intervention and treatment efforts. A list of recommendations updated this month shows the city has been working on increasing public education campaigns and access to treatment.
The action plan is "continuously updated" as the plan's steering committee meets on an approximately quarterly basis, according to council member Sandi Marshall, who sits on the committee with council member Jeannie Mock.
"It is very much alive and very much being worked on with a lot of fabulous results," Marshall said.
Opioid Response Project Coordinator Michael Dulitz informed council members previous work has focused not only on treating addicted members of the community, but also on providing resources for those who can't access treatment right away.
Local agencies like the Grand Forks Police Department, Dulitz said, have been "valuable partners" in these efforts.
Dulitz also talked about empowering the community through training on overdose recognition and prevention. Since August 2017, data from the city showed Grand Forks has already distributed 275 naloxone kits, trained 529 community members and given out 1,980 opioid prevention and treatment guides.
Dulitz went on to say the project is now focused on increasing access to treatment opportunities locally.
"I'm constantly astounded by how much work is getting done by so many people," Marshall said. "There's so much effort that is going into combating substance abuse in our community."