- Associated Press - Thursday, August 4, 2016

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The Bismarck Tribune, Bismarck, Aug. 4, 2016

Community effort key in drug battle

Organizers of a forum last week looking at opioid abuse in the Bismarck area had to be gratified by the turnout. More than 250 people attended the event intended to inform the public of the danger of opiates.

It didn’t take long for the seriousness of the event to sink in with the announcement of the fourth overdose death in Bismarck since June (one was due to meth). The death, however, is a reminder that the forum was a call to action. An effort to tell the public about the threat from the drugs and a challenge to the public to help find solutions to the problem. The health experts, law enforcement professionals and recovering addicts in attendance don’t have all the answers.

They can explain the warning signs of drug abuse, they can provide tips on what to tell your children, but they can’t give you a sure-fire way to keep your kids off drugs. They need the advice of parents and community members on how to keep youth from trying drugs. Law enforcement is going after the dealers, but they wouldn’t be a problem if there weren’t users willing to buy.

Some young people let their adventuresome lead them astray. At a young age you can feel bulletproof. Users also are aware of Narcan, which in many cases can act as an antidote during an overdose. So one person won’t use drugs while others do. If there’s an overdose, the nonuser will administer Narcan. The drawback, Narcan doesn’t always work.

Young people aren’t the only ones using opiates, in fact an updated list released by Bismarck police show three out of four people who died of overdoses this year were in their 30s.

No one, however, wants young people falling into addiction. So much of the discussion has been about keeping the young from using drugs. How to achieve this goal hasn’t been answered.

We have to realize there always will be some people who want to experiment with drugs and some who will become addicted. The community doesn’t have to accept this situation and we can do everything we can think of to prevent it.

Law enforcement has made it known that they will continue to arrest and prosecute both dealers and users.

The best solution is for the community to find ways to prevent youth from experimenting with drugs. When that doesn’t work, we need to help addicts break the habit.

The forum was the first step, now the community needs to share ideas and fight back before the drug problem grows. There needs to be more public gatherings where groups can develop a strategy to make the area as drug-free as possible.

This isn’t a battle we can afford to lose.


Minot Daily News, Minot, Aug. 4, 2016

Geese situation needs another look

The challenge of too many geese at Minot’s Souris Valley Golf Course is not new this year and is not limited to the golf course, or even to Minot. There are similar stories from other parts of the regions.

Some find the birds a nuisance. Some have expressed their delight in the number of geese in local parks. Still others recount horror stories of geese aggression and point out some other risks created by the sheer numbers of the animals.

Law limits what can be done about an over-abundance of geese on public property. Additionally, you aren’t going to see government at any level really want to address the issue. There are many who would feel any plan of action would be uncalled for and who would then protest.

There are certainly valid arguments in support of the idea of living in conjunction with the natural environment and that includes local fauna.

On the other hand, there are valid arguments that there is a public safety component of this challenge because of the mess from geese.

There has to be more than one way to cook a goose (pun intended). It isn’t the most important issue facing the community and it isn’t an issue that is going to bring people together. However whether it’s the city parks folks or the state, those with the ability to address this issue and come up with a solution tolerable to most and that at least addresses potential public safety concerns should pay attention to the concerns and worries of the people who use Minot parks. Judging from the sizable number of people who have commented on this topic on the Minot Daily News Facebook page, there are many interested parties with opinions.




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