Community Meeting to be held May 5, 2023 to Address Fentanyl Epidemic

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Meeting has been rescheduled for May 5, 2023.

CASS LAKE- The ongoing epidemic of fentanyl overdoses and deaths in the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe community is a serious issue that requires action. In response, the Leech Lake Substance Abuse Response Team has developed a Fentanyl Response Plan, which includes new initiatives to address the issue at all levels.

To kick off community engagement and discussion on these initiatives, the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe is holding a meeting on May 5th from 5:00 – 8:00 PM at the Cedar Lakes Casino Event Center in Cass Lake. The meeting will provide an opportunity for community members to learn about the Fentanyl Response Plan and provide feedback.

One of the initiatives in the plan is to expand access to naloxone (narcan), a medication that can immediately save the life of someone experiencing an overdose. The plan also includes developing a civil commitment code, which would provide a tool for families to direct individuals struggling with addiction to attend a treatment program. Additionally, the plan includes the development of a program for community navigators, who will be able to direct individuals to resources and services for addiction treatment.

Another key initiative is the expansion of the Ahnji-Be-Mah-Diz Recovery Center to an in-patient treatment program. The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Human Services division has been working diligently to obtain licensing and funding for the facility, which will serve both male and female clients.

These are only a few of the initiatives included and represent a new beginning of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe’s efforts to address the fentanyl epidemic in the community. Community engagement and feedback will be crucial in the ongoing development and implementation of the Fentanyl Response Plan.

All community members are encouraged to attend the meeting on April 5th to learn more about the plan and provide feedback. Together, we can work towards ending the fentanyl epidemic and creating safe places for our people to heal. Transportation is available for community members, visit or call 218-335-8351, please leave your name, phone number and address.

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