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CVHD receives $259,669 grant for alcohol plan

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News Jamestown,North Dakota 58401 http://www.jamestownsun.com/sites/all/themes/jamestownsun_theme/images/social_default_image.png
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CVHD receives $259,669 grant for alcohol plan
Jamestown North Dakota 121 3rd St NW 58401

Central Valley Health District is receiving a $259,669 federally-funded grant to combat underage drinking and adult binge drinking, the two biggest problems identified in the recent community-level needs assessment.

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The assessment was submitted in May to the North Dakota Department of Health, which is the agency that is dispersing the funds from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to almost every public health unit in the state.

The CVHD and other community partners reviewed assessment data from a variety of state and federal sources that included alcohol-related crashes, alcohol-related arrest rates, youth and adult alcohol use and factors that relate to these issues.

“In most areas we were the same or equal to what the state was for some of the factors, but North Dakota overall, a lot of times, has a higher rate of things like adult binge drinking or the use of alcohol than the nation,” said Robin Iszler, CVHD unit administrator. “In the nation, I don’t know where we rank, but we don’t do very well for binge drinking.”

The grant, called the Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant, will be used to develop and implement a multi-faceted plan to address those issues. Iszler said the plan could include evidence-based strategies that have been proven to reduce alcohol abuse and may address intervening variables such as alcohol prices, availability, ordinance enforcement and compliance checks, promotion of alcohol and alcohol-related events and city policies on the hours of liquor sales. Development of the plan is currently underway, and implementation will begin in September and last for one year.

“Actually, when we look at what we’re already doing, we’re doing many things in those areas, but what we’re looking at next is how we might do those a little bit better,” Iszler said. “A lot of it will probably stem from the media because I think the biggest thing is that people don’t know what’s out there or what’s happening in relationship to those (issues). Maybe they (people in the community) think that the police are not doing anything when in fact they are, so that’s really, I think, the biggest area that we can improve on … getting people to know what the problem is and understand how they can correct it.”

Arrest rates vary

Data provided to the CVHD from the Office of North Dakota Attorney General showed alcohol-related arrest rates in a six-year period from 2007 to 2012. Data was compared from the state, the local Human Services Region which comprises Stutsman, Barnes, Griggs, Foster, Wells, Logan, McIntosh, Dickey and LaMoure counties, and the CVHD local service area, which covers Stutsman and Logan counties.

According to the data, there were 82.8 DUI arrests for every 10,000 people in North Dakota in 2012, whereas there were 53.4 regional arrests and 78.7 local arrests. All three figures for 2012 were the highest in six years.

One area that stood out locally was the number of alcohol-related disorderly conduct arrests, where Stutsman and Logan had more than twice the number of arrests in 2012 at 125.6 compared to 61.2 statewide. The region saw a rate of 77.5.

Locally there was a rate of 215.3 for total alcohol-related arrests, versus 133.3 regionally and 167.2 statewide.

Sun reporter David Luessen can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at dluessen@jamestownsun.com

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