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North Dakota

When compared to the rest of the country, North Dakota’s drug problem is not as severe as other states. A 2007-2008 survey conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported that 5.91% of North Dakota residents acknowledged using illicit drugs in the past month. At the time of the survey the national average was 8.02%. Of the 5.91% who admitted to using illicit drugs, 2.28% reported using an illicit drug other than marijuana in the past month; the national average for was 3.58%. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that in 2007, 37 people died in North Dakota as a direct consequence of drug use, abuse or addiction problems. Compare this number with the total amount of people in the state who died from motor vehicle accidents (115) and firearms (57) during the same year. North Dakota drug-induced deaths (5.8 per 100,000 population) were lower than the national rate (12.7 per 100,000). 2005 saw the establishment of North Dakota’s prescription drug monitoring program. However, this program did not become operational until 2008. The North Dakota prescription drug monitoring program is overseen by the state Board of Pharmacy. The purpose of the program is to collect data on all Schedule II, III, IV, and V controlled substances (including Tramadol and Carisoprodol) dispensed in North Dakota for patients living in the state. Data is collected daily from pharmacies and dispensing practitioners.

Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) noted that during 2010, marijuana was the primary drug among substance abuse treatment admissions. After marijuana, the next most common drug listed during drug rehab admissions was other opiates followed by stimulants, cocaine, heroin, other/unknown, tranquilizers and inhalants. Drug addicted residents of North Dakota, as with the rest of the country are in need of more effective drug rehab programs. While there are many treatment centers to choose from in the state, a majority of them are not adequately set up to address all areas of a client’s addiction problem. For true recovery to take place the addicted individual needs to do more than just go through the detox process and a few counseling sessions. Addiction is an issue that developed within the person over time; as a result, it will take time to fully uncover what drove them to abuse drugs and handle the issues that are uncovered.

While no drug rehab program is going to work for all addicted persons, it is a fact that remaining in treatment for an adequate period of time is necessary to achieve lasting sobriety. One of the first phases of any drug rehab program is drug withdrawal. This is where the person either tappers off the drugs they are physically addicted to or stops cold turkey. This process is done under medical supervision so that the program participant experiences as minimal withdrawal symptoms as possible. When completed, the client is ready to begin the heart of their recovery process. True and lasting addiction rehabilitation involves uncovering what drove the individual to choose drugs as an answer to the problems in their life. Have a clearer understanding of why the person became an addict will better prepare them for their life down the line as a drug-free, sober person. During drug rehab the recovering person learns about addiction, necessary life skills (learning improvement, communication, social/anti-social personality traits, living ethically with morals and integrity, how to handle stress in a healthy way) relapse prevention techniques and skills. They will also take the time to create a battle plan for their life following their completion of drug rehab.