North Dakota Addiction Treatment and Info

The abuse of drugs and alcohol is a common problem all across North Dakota. This is in spite of the many addiction treatment and rehabilitation programs that are available in this state.

Addiction in North Dakota

Although there are many substances of abuse in North Dakota, it seems that alcohol is one of the major problems that the state has been struggling with. In fact, it has been reported that this drug is so commonly abused by local residents that North Dakota is ranked among the top states for this form of addiction.

CBS News, for instance, reported that more than 30 percent of these residents engaged in binge drinking before the article was published. This goes to show just how serious the rates of alcohol drinking have become.

The state government however released a report in 2015 showing that fewer people were abusing prescription medications. In 2011, close to 6.5 percent of the population had taken these medications for a non-medical reason. By 2015, this number had reduced to 4.9 percent.

Even so, more than 16 percent of students in grades 7 through to 12 reported that they had engaged in prescription drug abuse at least one time in their lifetimes. As a result, North Dakota has been trying to educate more of these teens about the dangers of all forms of substance abuse - irrespective of the legal status of the drugs.

For more than 5 years now, the rates of drug overdose that turned fatal have more than doubled in North Dakota. This could be as a result of the increase in the total number of prescription drugs that are issued in this state.

Commonly Abused Substances in North Dakota

To understand the various problems linked to drugs and alcohol, it is essential to review the rates of admission in treatment centers in North Dakota as well as the drugs that led to these admissions. Consider the following:

1. Alcohol

Alcohol was responsible for 871 admissions in rehab facilities in North Dakota in 2010. Another 562 people received similar treatment services for abusing alcohol with another addictive drug.

2. Marijuana

Most of the people who received drug rehab services in the state that year reported that they were abusing marijuana. This substance was linked to a total of 696 admissions into these facilities. Of this number, 34 percent were female while the remaining 66 percent were male. Most of these admissions involved people between the ages of 12 and 17 years.

3. Amphetamines

Amphetamines were linked to 145 admissions in addiction treatment and rehabilitation centers in the state in 2010. Of this number, 55.9 percent were female while the remaining 44.1 percent were male. People aged 21 to 25 years old comprised the largest population among these admissions.

Drug Overdose Fatalities in North Dakota

The United States lost 70200 lives in 2017 due to a drug overdose. This was at a rate of 21.7 deaths for every 100,000 people. Of these numbers, 47600 were linked to opioids. For instance, fentanyl analogs and fentanyl led to 284000 fatalities in the country.

The case is somewhat similar in North Dakota. That year, for instance, the state lost 9.2 lives for every segment of 100,000 residents. Although most of these fatalities were linked to opioid drugs, they were not reported because the state did not meet all the inclusion criteria.

The North Dakota Opioid Epidemic

In 2017, healthcare providers in North Dakota wrote an average of 41.5 prescriptions for opioid medications for every segment of 100 people. At the national level, there were 58.7 prescriptions for the same amount of people. This was an increase from the 63 prescriptions written for every 100 people in 2010.

Drug Related Illnesses in North Dakota

Substance abuse and addiction have been linked to a wide variety of medical conditions in North Dakota. These include but are not limited to:

a) Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

Neonatal abstinence syndrome is a condition occurs when expectant women abuse drugs like opioids. From 2004 to 2014, the United States experienced more than a fivefold increase in the occurrence of neonatal abstinence syndrome. This was from 1.5 incidences for every segment of 1000 babies delivered in a hospital to 8 cases for a similar segment at the end of the study period.

In North Dakota, the case was not completely different. In 2011, for instance, 1.7 cases were reported among every segment of 1000 births in hospitals. By 2014, this number had increased to 4.8 incidents for the same number of babies.


In 2016, 46 new cases of HIV were reported in the state. Among males, 14.3 percent of these cases were linked to male to male contact and intravenous drug use. 22.2 percent of these cases among females in North Dakota were linked to intravenous drug use.

The previous year, it was estimated that 334 people had been diagnosed with the condition in the state. Of this number, 18.6 percent included male patients who had contracted HIV through intravenous drug use (IDU) or male to male sexual contact. 14.1 percent were female clients who had acquired it through IDU.

c) Hepatitis C

In 2016, the state reported only 1 case of HCV or hepatitis C. this was at a rate of 0.1 infection for every segment of 100,000 people. Averages from 2013 to 2016 also showed that there were 460 cases of this condition among every segment of the population comprised of 100,000 people.

Drug Related Fatalities and Injuries in North Dakota

Drug use was the direct cause of 37 deaths in this state in 2007. The same year, 115 people died in motor car accidents while another 57 lost their lives in incidents involving firearms.

Addiction Prevention in North Dakota

The state has been responding to its alcohol abuse and addiction problem through regulation. For instance, it has passed a no-tolerance law for drunk driving among people aged 21 years and young. If you fall within this age group and you are arrested while driving with a blood alcohol content - BAC - of more than 9 percent, you may face jail time and punitive fines.

In 2014, North Dakota passed additional laws to reduce the rates of drunk driving among local residents. These laws now promote school education and mass media campaigns to increase public awareness about the dangers of this habit.

Known DUI - driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs - offenders are now required by the law to install ignition interlocks in their cars to ensure that they cannot drive if their blood alcohol content is higher than a particular percentage.

Further, the state has many interventions in place to ensure that every county has at least one running addiction awareness and rehabilitation program in place. North Dakota has been accomplishing this goal through community task forces and coalitions. Examples of these programs include:

i) Lock. Monitor. Take Back

This evidence based program is designed to ensure that fewer people have access to certain prescription medications - particularly opioids. it encourages residents to use these drugs safely.

ii) Drug Take Back Program

Further, North Dakota has a take back program for these prescription medications. It offers locations where residents can get rid of addictive and intoxicating medications that they are no longer using.

iii) Stop Overdose

There is a task force charged with reducing pharmaceutical narcotic drug abuse. It collaborates with the state Department of Human Services to provide resources and share information about the risks of substance abuse and overdose.

Addiction Treatment Programs in North Dakota

The TEDS - the Treatment Episode Data Set - report for 2010 showed that a total of 2478 people were admitted in an addiction recovery program in the state that year. Of this number, 38.5 percent were female while the remaining 61.5 percent were male.

Across 15 years, North Dakota has seen a steep decrease in the total number of people who check into rehab for abusing alcohol. however, there has been a simultaneous increase in the mentions of both methamphetamine and marijuana.

The N-SSATS - National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services - also reported that the state had 47 addiction treatment and rehabilitation centers in 2002. By 2006, this number had increased to 65.

Although most of the prevention measures that are in place in North Dakota have helped reduce the rates of substance abuse and addiction in the state, you might not have managed to avoid this problem. In such a situation, your life will start spinning out of control.

Further, you may be struggling with denial. This effectively means that you will not realize that most of the problems that you have been struggling with have been coming about as consequences and adverse effects of your ongoing substance abuse.

Irrespective of your favorite drugs - or their legal status - the only way you can overcome your addiction is by checking into a professional alcohol and drug rehabilitation program. By so doing, you will be able to enjoy a wide variety of recovery services, including but not limited to:

1. Medical Detox

This program is offered at the start of any recovery process. It is designed to manage the withdrawal symptoms and severe drug cravings that tend to arise when you stop abusing substances that cause physical dependence - such as opioids, alcohol, and benzodiazepines.

Through a medically managed detox program, you will receive the medications and round the clock care that you need to deal with various withdrawal symptoms and effects, such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Heart palpitations
  • High fever
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Night sweats
  • Psychosis
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting

2. Inpatient Drug Rehab

However, medical detox will only help you overcome your physical dependence. You are going to need additional treatment therapies to ensure that you are no longer struggling with emotional, psychological, and behavioral dependence. These therapies are offered in inpatient and outpatient drug rehabs.

In an inpatient treatment program, you will live at the recovery center. This will remove you from your everyday environment - an important step if this environment might cause you to start abusing drugs and drinking alcohol again.

Inpatient drug rehab is recommended if you have been diagnosed with co-occurring mental health and medical disorders and your addiction is severe or has been ongoing for a long time.

3. Outpatient Drug Rehab

As the name suggests, outpatient addiction treatment does not require that you stay at the recovery facility. Instead, you can visit a few times each week for a couple of hours each time.

You can then spend the rest of your time going about your regular daily schedule - and taking care of your obligations at work, school, and home. At night, you will also get the opportunity to either sleep in your own home or in a professionally managed sober or transitional living facility.

Outpatient treatment might be ideal if you have a mild addiction and were not diagnosed with any other co-occurring disorders. It may also work if you have already been through an inpatient drug rehab program but still need extra assistance to ensure that you do not suffer a relapse.

While enrolled in an inpatient or outpatient program, you may be able to enjoy a wide variety of recovery therapies and services, including but not limited to:

  • 12 step and non-12 step support group meetings
  • Addiction education
  • Aromatherapy
  • Art therapy
  • Biofeedback
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Coping mechanisms
  • Couples counseling
  • Dialectical behavior therapy
  • Dual diagnosis addiction treatment
  • Equine therapy
  • Exercise and physical education
  • Faith based addiction treatment
  • Family counseling
  • Gender specific therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Holistic healing therapies
  • Individual counseling
  • Journaling
  • Medication assisted treatment
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Relapse prevention
  • Specialized addiction treatment
  • Spiritual support
  • Stress management
  • Vocational training
  • Yoga

Getting Help

Irrespective of the particular reasons behind your substance abuse, you need to make the decision to overcome this problem as soon as you realize that you have been taking alcohol or drugs in higher doses than you used to. However, you will only be able to recover fully after checking into a professional addiction treatment and rehabilitation program either in North Dakota or beyond the state.


For more information about treatment centers in North Dakota, Click Here.

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