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NEWS from the North Dakota Department of Human Services

600 E. Boulevard Ave., Dept. 325, Bismarck, N.D. 58505



October 11, 2017


Contacts: Heather Steffl at 701-328-4933 or LuWanna Lawrence at 701-328-1892


Agency awards substance abuse prevention grants to 10 public health units


BISMARCK, N.D. - The North Dakota Department of Human Services’ Behavioral Health Division is awarding substance abuse prevention grants to 10 communities and continues to support other community-level prevention efforts by hosting training today and Thursday for other grantees.


New Substance Abuse Prevention Community Grant program funding will be awarded to Cavalier County Health District, Custer Health, Dickey County Health District, Fargo-Cass Public Health, Grand Forks Public Health, Lake Region District Health Unit, Nelson-Griggs District Health Unit, Richland County Health Department, Towner County Public Health District and Walsh County Health District.


Each public health unit will receive about $70,000 to implement evidence-based substance abuse prevention efforts from November 2017 through September 2018. Communities will identify local data-driven priorities focused on underage drinking, adult binge drinking, and prescription opioid abuse and consequences, and will select evidence-based strategies to implement, such as responsible beverage service training, enforcement activities and prescription drug take back.


“To be effective, prevention efforts must be community-specific, data-driven and involve a multi-faceted approach using proven strategies,” the department’s Prevention Administrator Laura Anderson said.


North Dakota ranks fourth in the nation for binge alcohol use among adults age 26 and older, the state is making progress. Anderson said 25.8 percent reported binge drinking in the past 30 days, compared to 22 percent nationally according to the 2013-2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. This is a decrease from 29 percent in 2007-2008.


Local public health units and tribal governments in North Dakota who are not currently funded by the North Dakota Strategic Prevention Framework Partnership for Success Grant or the North Dakota Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant were invited to apply.


The division also continues to support training for other current grantees. Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America representatives will be in Mandan today and Thursday to provide free training for Partnership for Success community grantees who are implementing evidence-based substance abuse prevention strategies targeting underage drinking.


Communities interested in implementing substance abuse prevention efforts are encouraged to visit or to email the division at


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Walsh County

Walsh County

On June 16th, 2016 Walsh County Health District coordinated a Grain Bin Rescue Training Program for Farmer Families, Firemen, Emergency Medical Services, and other interested parties.  The program was delivered by NECAS, the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety.   


Topics covered during the Family Farmers training included: 

·         Learn how to safely enter a grain bin

·         Learn about new tools to avoid entering bins

·         Watch grain bin rescue and the procedures that occur


Firefighters and EMS learned about the main cause of grain engulfment and were instructed on how to safely enter into a grain bin to perform a grain bin rescue. They learned safety around grain and grain storage facilities, lock-out tag-out procedures, treating a patient with crushing injuries, use of the grain rescue tube, and how to make cuts into the grain bin panel for full engulfment rescue. The program allowed for several evolutions with the grain bin rescue simulator dealing with both partial engulfment and full engulfment’s.


A little over 50 farm families, firemen, and EMS volunteers attended from numerous Walsh County communities.