BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum, First Lady Kathryn Helgaas Burgum and Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford will join hundreds of North Dakotans and national, regional and state experts on Wednesday, April 11, to discuss public policies, strategies and resources that work to prevent substance abuse.
The event, titled A Day for Prevention and hosted by the North Dakota Department of Human Services, will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. CDT at Bismarck State College’s National Energy Center of Excellence and will also be webcast live at www.governor.nd.gov. Community viewing and participation events are also planned in Dickinson, Fargo, Grand Forks, Minot, Jamestown, Devils Lake, Rolla, Valley City and Williston.
“Substance abuse prevention is an important component of the state’s comprehensive approach to behavioral health. Working together we can strengthen substance abuse prevention efforts statewide,” said Burgum, who with the First Lady will kick off the event.
The list of speakers includes University of Wyoming research scientist Rodney Wambeam, Ph.D., who oversees numerous prevention research projects and has evaluated outcomes achieved by federal grant-funded prevention programs, will speak about the value of prevention and what effective prevention looks like.
Among the other speakers:
- Dr. Donald Warne, chair of North Dakota State University’s Department of Public Health, will share information about the impact of unresolved trauma on addiction and imbalance.
- Law enforcement veteran and trainer R.J. Elrick will discuss effective policy and enforcement strategies, including multi-agency approaches to underage drinking prevention and enforcement.
- Lt. Gov. Sanford will draw from his experience as a community leader in Watford City to talk about prevention on Main Street.
- Kyle Barrington, Ph.D., who has been active in the substance abuse prevention and treatment field for over 20 years and evaluates state and national programs, will talk about implementing the evidence-based practice known as Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral for Treatment on college campuses.
- Luke Niforatos, senior policy advisor for the nonprofit Smart Approaches to Marijuana, will provide information about lessons learned from marijuana legalization, which incorporates a prevention perspective and public health research.
- Consultant Colber Prosper will talk about the value of prevention and effective communication in prevention.
- Dr. Melissa Henke, medical director of Heartview Foundation, will discuss opioid overdose strategies, including the signs of an overdose and how to respond.
Jenny Olson, managing director of the Office of Recovery Reinvented, part of the North Dakota Governor’s Office, will serve as the program emcee.
Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are available for social workers, counselors, peace officers and others. A full list is available at https://prevention.nd.gov/day-for-prevention.
People who plan to attend the event in Bismarck can register online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/a-day-for-prevention-tickets-43171381765.
For more information on A Day for Prevention, including current community viewing events, visit the North Dakota Prevention Resource and Media Center at https://prevention.nd.gov/day-for-prevention.