Introducing the Community Navigator Program
Substance abuse and addiction are longstanding problems across our state. North Dakota currently ranks first in the nation for binge drinking and of those who self-reported drug abuse, 5% of adults and 14.5% of high school students reported using prescription drugs to get high (ND Prevention Resource & Media Center 2017).
Two years ago, the Mayor’s Blue-Ribbon Commission organized to address the challenges our communities face in our fight to tackle the public health crisis of addiction. A call to action was sent out, and our community responded. The commission has led the charge to prioritize the issue, educate the public, and galvanize resources. In the last two years we have seen a major shift in how we think about people with substance use problems, intervention, treatment, and recovery.
Out of discussions and planning, the Community Navigator pilot project was born. This innovative local strategy involves “unprecedented collaboration” to connect people with drug and alcohol problems to local treatment and recovery support services that meet their needs (Mayor’s Blue Ribbon 2018).
The Community Navigator is an agent of support, information, and referral, enhancing the coordination of care between individuals and providers. The navigator uses experience in behavioral health, knowledge of community resources, and communication skills to personally connect individuals with the appropriate level of recovery-based support and treatment services. If you or someone you love has a concern with drugs or alcohol, dial 2-1-1 or (701) 235-7335 and get connected with the Community Navigator for Addiction.