There will be a free training session on the opioid public health crisis on Thursday in the community room at Milton Young Towers from 2 to 3:15 p.m. Thursday.
Milton Young Towers is located at 310 2nd Street SE in Minot.
Holly Arnold, parent educator for North Dakota State University Extension, said the program is geared toward adults over 18 who might come into contact with addicts or those at risk of addiction.
There is also another program geared toward youth, said Arnold, but this one is intended just for adults.
Parents, other adult family members, members of faith groups, employees, employers, teachers, service providers and others in the community can all benefit from the presentation, which is from the Overdose Lifeline Organization and sponsored by a cooperative Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration grant between South Dakota State University and North Dakota State University.
“The more people that know, the more on top of it we can be as a community,” said Arnold.
The program will cover information about how and why opioid addiction has grown, the physical effects of addiction, how to recognize an overdose, how to use opioids in an appropriate way and how to manage prescriptions. Arnold said she will also talk a bit about naloxone and how it can be used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, a bit about treatment and recovery, and about prevention. Misuse of opioids can often lead to heroin use, said Arnold.
Arnold said there have been fewer opioid overdoses in North Dakota than in other states, but awareness will help head off an increase in the problem.
“We like it to stay that way,” she said. “We don’t want to get to the rates that we see in other parts of the country.”
Though the presentation will not focus on the way that drug use also contributes to crime such as burglary, thefts and child neglect, Arnold said she is also aware that there are ongoing problems with drug-related crimes in the community and that victims of those crimes become frustrated. Prevention is important, she said.
Tiffany Gunville, service coordinator and social worker at Milton Young Towers, said the Minot Housing Authority is hosting the event. She thought it would be a good opportunity to make the training available to everyone in the community. Some residents at Milton Young Towers don’t have cars or easy access to transportation, so it will be easier for them to attend the training session there, she said. Milton Young Towers is also in a central location in town. It will also give others from the community a chance to visit Milton Young Towers and see where it is located.
People who attend the event will be eligible to receive a one-hour social work continuing education credit, said Arnold and Gunville.