Eggs and Issues: Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Addiction

Monthly Eggs & Issues Meeting Between Local Leaders Focuses on Addiction, Prevention, and Recovery

WEST FARGO, N.D. — Opioid addiction is taking lives in our community.

The Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Addiction was the focus on this month’s Eggs and Issues meeting between local leaders.

Mary Beth Traynor said opioid addiction is something that hits close to home.

“Our son Matthew struggled with addiction for over ten years,” she said. “He chose to end his battle by taking his own life last June.”

She called him a bright man cut down by the epidemic.

“He was bright, creative…did well in school,” she added. “We had a pretty normal life.”

Local leaders are worried that people may not know where to turn to help friends and loved ones with opioid addiction.

“Part of the big Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force is to educate people and what they can do,” said West Fargo Mayor Rich Mattern. “What to look for and where to go to get help. That’s really what we’re here for today.”

Four panelists presented on different aspects of addiction, prevention and recovery.

A main focus was informing people on how to get help in the workplace.

“For business people, it’s the employee assistance program where you can get help if you’re in trouble,” said Mayor Mattern. “A lot of businesses have that but we think that a lot of the employees don’t really know how to take advantage of it. It’s in the schools and in businesses,” he added. “There’s so many avenues that we have to look to and we also have to look how do we get people that are addicted, how do we get them off that wagon and onto a clean wagon. So there’s so many tentacles to this whole piece that we have to take it one step at a time.”

Traynor said she hopes these resources will help prevent other families enduring the same heartbreak hers did.

“We are losing too many lives to this problem,” she said. “It is time to get this out of the shadows. Let’s talk about it.”

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