Local Mayors Come Together to Fight Addiction in Our Communities

Five local mayors join together with the Dakota Medical Foundation to fight addiction in the community.

The commission is in its beginning stages of planning and is asking the community to help them prevent future tragedies caused by addiction.

It’s something that’s been talked about in our community and the new Mayors Blue Ribbon Commission on Addiction is ready to go beyond the conversation.

“Mayors got together and decided we need to move this up to a different level,” said Fargo Mayor Dr. Tim Mahoney. “Our hope is to make wellness a reality for all people and families that suffer from addiction.”

The commission will research and create a plan driven by data to see what will work best locally.

“We’re going to develop a structure of expert panels in prevention, treatment and recovery,” said project leader John Vastag.  “We’re going to work very hard in developing some very tough timelines.”

The mayors from West Fargo, Moorhead, Fargo, Dilworth and Horace are ready to act now.

“People suddenly die,we’ve been seeing that a lot in the news,”  said Moorhead Mayor Del Rae Williams.  “Those are people’s friends, their brothers, their sons and daughters.”

The formation of the commission is just the start.

“The problem is addiction,” said Dilworth Mayor Chad Olson.  “We need to prevent the poison that plague our streets. We need to reach out with our hands and help everyone struggling with addiction.”

The commission will have preliminary recommendations in December.

They hope the community will help them identify what can be improved so they can plan the next step.

“Today served as a call to action for all of our communities to come together and develop a brilliant strategy that maximizes the current resources that we currently have,” said Pat Traynor, President of the Dakota Medical Foundation.

Plans could include education in schools, and more treatment facilities.

“It’s a tragedy that I’m thrilled this community is going to address together,” said Traynor.

According to the CDC, poisoning, which includes drug overdoses, is the leading cause of accidental death.

That’s just one reason why the mayors decided they need to act right away.