‘Definitely a problem here’: Drug overdoses on the rise in Cass County

Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 5:50 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - While this past weekend’s three overdose deaths is a spike in the numbers, local leaders in Cass County are stating that it is a growing problem. Reminding the public there are resources available for those struggling with drug addiction.

“We know that all drug-related deaths in Cass County, we saw a 55% increase from 2019 to 2020. So this is definitely a problem here.” said Robyn Litke Sall, a prevention coordinator with Fargo Cass Public Health.

Raven Ware, who is an advocate for the harm reduction center, has been sober for two and a half years. While it’s been a long battle for Ware, which included time in incarceration, she is glad to be sober. However, she did point out that drug addiction is very difficult to break.

“I lost everything within six months of using and it took forever to get where I am today.” said Ware.

In addition to the lives that were lost over the weekend, overdoses also impacts families and first responders. Especially when it involves younger people.

“That’s hard on first responders because a lot of them too are parents and they see that happening.” said Cpt. George Vinson of the Fargo Police Dept.

Fargo Cass Public Health said that they have initiatives in place to help try and curb these problems. Last year, according to Litke Sall, the harm reduction center distributed over 6,000 doses of Narcan. Also, it was reported there were 459 cases of opioid reversals thanks to Narcan that was obtained at the facility.

“It would mean even more if we had less people that needed those services and less people that have substance use disorders to start with.” said Litke Sall.

Everyone that spoke to us echoed the same message when it comes to battling drug addiction. Addiction can impact anyone and that you are never alone. If you need help, reach out.

“There was over a 1,000 deaths last year due to overdoses. I knew over 20 of them, and I know they’re not just a number. They’re mothers, wives, brothers, sisters,” said Ware. “And it effects people, it hurts people and you’re not just effecting yourself. You’re effecting the ones around you.”

For more information on drug addiction resources, click here.

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