We are mobilizing the community to take back the lives addiction is stealing.


In the Fall of 2016, a group of dedicated community members and organizations across Cass and Clay counties pulled together to fight the growing epidemic of addiction. People were dying, and we knew we could solve this problem together.

The Mayors' Blue Ribbon Commission on Addiction in Cass and Clay counties is tackling the growing epidemic of addiction to opioids and other substances. Coordinated by Dakota Medical Foundation, the Commission includes families who have battled addiction, community and healthcare civic leaders, faith communities, and experts in addiction. 


Mayors' Blue Ribbon Commission of Addiction Take Back Tuesday Event
Video: City of Fargo

The Crisis

Addiction is a chronic disease that is stealing lives every day. Alcohol and substance abuse disorders impact us physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. Across our community, unbound by social or economic classes, people are struggling to combat this disease and receive care. In fact, North Dakota ranks as the No. 1 state in the nation for self-reported binge drinking, with Minnesota at No. 9. According to the Center for Disease Control, the number of overdose deaths in North Dakota has steadily increased in recent years - reaching a peak at 77 in 2016.

Our goal is to frame the problem, reprioritize funding, fully integrate, build the capacity of organizations, leverage technology, and improve social capital. Together we can end addiction.

Call to Action for Local Leaders

No. 1

Adopt the Fight Against Addiction as a Top Priority

Addiction is destroying far too many lives and families in our community. As community leaders, it is our responsibility to actively address addiction with strong leadership, compassion, and a vision for being one of the healthiest communities in the nation.

No. 2

Frame the Problem to Motivate and Guide the Community

In order for our efforts to be successful, the community must understand the nature and gravity of the problem and be willing to tackle it head on. As leaders, we must understand the data and unite around a clear understanding and compelling message to help the community embrace the need for change.

No. 3

Activate the Community for Unprecedented Collaboration

The addiction crisis isn’t a problem that is owned by any one group or sector. It also isn't a problem that can be solved by one alone. It will take unprecedented collaboration to create meaningful and lasting solutions to dramatically reverse the trends of addiction in our community. As local leaders, we set the tone by challenging the status quo, setting aside personal agendas, ensuring the right people are at the table, and communicating proactively. We will make a huge difference by leveraging resources to effectively implement a local strategy that gets results.

Take on a Key Role as an Educator and Champion

We need to educate key leaders and officials at every level and in every sector on the impact addiction is having on our local communities. We also must advocate for approaches that will help us wipe out the addiction crisis.

No. 4