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Drug Addiction in North Dakota

North Dakota is lucky to have seen the lowest drug-related mortality rates of any state. Yet, many legislators and residents worry that increases in street drug abuse and cartel activity could impact many communities. Moreover, many of the deaths that have occurred as the result of drug abuse hint at strange designer drugs and increases in both meth and heroin. Street drug addiction in North Dakota is a growing problem, however, those who are suffering must understand that drug addiction treatment can help.

What Is Drug Abuse?

Street drugs are a serious national problem, and could even be construed as an epidemic for some communities. In North Dakota, the street drug problem has recently begun to increase. Drug addiction in North Dakota often involves commonly abused drugs like marijuana, heroin, and crystal meth. However, designer drugs have also moved into this prairie state with increasing alarm, as they have already been associated with various teen overdose deaths. The fact is, taking any illicit drug is a form of drug abuse. While alcohol continues to top the list of most commonly abused substances in North Dakota, street drugs like marijuana as well as prescription drug abuse also contribute to the addiction problem in the state.

Drug Addiction in North Dakota

According to the Washington Post, the drug problem in North Dakota is increasing because illegal cartels are beginning to enter the state. The Washington Post reports that, while positive in many ways for the state’s economy, North Dakota’s oil boom is attracting crime families and drug dealers. Coinciding with these cartel-associated crime increases, are increases in meth and heroine abuse, according to Fox News. Even more alarming are the overdose deaths related to designer synthetic drugs similar to LSD, according to CNN, which have already taken the lives of many young adults across the state. With street drug addiction in North Dakota increasing, treatment centers are poised to see increases as well, and the only way to effectively manage illicit drug addiction is through comprehensive therapy.


Commonly Abused Street Drugs in North Dakota


Cocaine is a stimulant that is also a large problem for North Dakota. Cocaine is listed as a Schedule II stimulant and is known to be extremely addictive. One of the reasons cocaine is exceptionally addictive, is because it causes a euphoric high by stimulating the brain’s pleasure centers. As the individual increases their dose to achieve this euphoric high, they quickly develop a tolerance to that dose. By needing to further increase that dose, an addiction forms. When the user stops using cocaine, withdrawal symptoms will ensue if an addiction is present. Using cocaine is associated with psychological and physical health problems, such as increased heart rate and blood pressure, mood shifts, anxiety, and paranoia. Symptoms of cocaine abuse include aggressiveness, frequent nosebleeds, depression, apathy, and heart problems such as heart attack.


Heroin is a Schedule I narcotic that is associated with high rates of abuse around the country. The relapse rate for heroin is between 40 and 60%, according to an NPR report. Heroin users often develop a tolerance to this opioid quickly, and an addiction can form even within just a few uses. People who abuse heroin risk drug overdose, as well as many mental and physical health problems like reduced respiratory function, and increased risk for diseases such as HIV and hepatitis. Signs of heroin abuse include reduced cognitive function, slowed breathing rate, scratching, nausea, vomiting, loss of interest in anything other than drug use, and reduced appetite.

Crystal Meth

Crystal meth, often referred to simply as meth, is a Schedule II drug that carries high rates of abuse and addiction. The relapse rate among meth addicts is 93%, even with treatment. People who abuse meth experience a powerful high that is characterized by intense energy, increased alertness, and misleading feeling of invulnerability. Meth is also associated with a tendency for aggression and involves powerful cravings and intense withdrawal symptoms. Aside from the risk for overdose, meth users are at high risk for reduced cognitive function, extreme weight loss, severe dental problems, and increased heart rate. Signs of meth abuse commonly include tooth decay, hair loss, skin picking, and erratic behavior.

Treatment for Drug Addiction in North Dakota

Drug abuse can be deadly; overdose can happen any time with any use. Seeking treatment at a certified drug treatment center or rehab facility is the ideal way to manage street drug addiction. Overcoming addiction involves multi-type treatments that address each aspect of the disease, which includes the physical, mental, and behavioral components. When entering treatment, patients usually undergo medical detox first. During this phase of treatment, healthcare providers can treat withdrawal symptoms or other health problems as needed, while the patient is slowly weaned of the addictive substance. Once medical detox is complete, rehab centers employ traditional treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy, as well alternative treatments to help patients reach their goal of long-term recovery.

Some patients addicted to substances such as heroin or meth, are put on drug maintenance programs and given pharmaceutical treatments in the form helpful drugs, such as methadone. Some people will rely on drug maintenance programs for a short period of time, while others will need them indefinitely. Upon entering rehab, addiction specialists will assess each individual in order to recommend a customized treatment plan that takes the patient’s health needs into consideration. Once intensive treatment is completed, aftercare will be an important part of long-term therapy that provides recovering addicts with the support they need to live sober lives.

If you are addicted to street drugs, it is essential to seek treatment. Your mental and physical health will be at great risk until you are able to effectively manage your addiction and lead a sober life. As street drug addiction in North Dakota increases, you can avoid becoming one of the state’s unfortunate statistics when you enter rehab and get the vital treatment you need for a better, healthier life. Pick up the phone and dial an addiction specialist when you are serious about your sobriety.




Fox News


North Dakota Drug Control Update


The Washington Post