Fargo city leaders plan to curb binge and underage drinking - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Fargo city leaders plan to curb binge and underage drinking

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FARGO, N.D. -- We previously reported Fargo, North Dakota, has been deemed the drunkest city in the nation two years in a row. Now, Fargo has a plan to do something about it.

The city now has close to $390,000 geared towards alcohol prevention, specifically binge and underage drinking in the community.

Fargo Cass Public Health met earlier tonight to figure out how to put an end to alcohol abuse. They're looking to enhance old programming or add new ones dedicated towards primary prevention.

Valley News Team talked to the director of Fargo Cass Public Health who said drinking "absolutely happens in the Fargo-Moorhead area, we don't want Fargo to be known as a city that drinks too much."

"Adult binge drinking is somewhat normal and and our culture is that youth drinking is somewhat normal,” said Ruth Bachmeier, the director at Fargo Cass Public Health.  “And, one strategy is to work on changing those community norms which is not something that can happen over night.”

Bachmeier said it will be a challenge to change the people's outlook, attitudes and core beliefs on alcohol consumption, because many in our region don't see it as a problem. But, in fact, 67 percent of high schooler have had an alcoholic beverage and 25 percent of middle schoolers.

“How do you solve alcoholism within a community in the drunkest state?”, asked a Valley News Live. “Well, not easily, it's going to have to be very multifaceted,” said Bachmeier. “I think brining awareness to it, to the issues, is the first step."

Health officials will gather up all this input and then draw up a plan of action to curb this issue. One possible result of this feedback could be in the form of awareness campaigns like advertising, public service announcements and working with police.

Currently, they are in the planning stage and plan to submit that project proposal in September.
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