North Dakota is known for its rugged beauty and wide open spaces. The Theodore Roosevelt National Parks welcomes thousands of visitors each year anxious for a glimpse of buffalo, deer, elk, bighorn sheep and wild horses. But amidst all of these natural wonders, the opioid epidemic sweeping parts of the country has found its way to North Dakota.
According to the Daily Caller, North Dakota saw a 400 percent increase in heroin use between 2013 and 2015, and that number is still rising. But there is hope for the many in North Dakota who struggle with opioid abuse. Understanding what heroin addiction looks like and finding the right treatment program are crucial steps on the road to recovery.
Addiction to opioids like heroin usually begins with a prescription opioid given to control pain after surgery, injury, or for a chronic condition that causes pain. Opioids work by binding to opioid receptors in the brain, changing the way the body perceives pain and producing feelings of euphoria in the user.
Over time, the brain depends on the opioid to do the work of naturally occurring neurotransmitters. When this level of drug dependence develops, addiction isn’t far behind. If you or a loved one uses opioids to control pain and you think there is a problem, look for these signs of opioid addiction:
- Using more of the drug for longer periods of time than prescribed by a doctor
- Needing a supply of the drug on hand at all times
- Becoming preoccupied with getting and using the drug
- Needing more of the drug before the next dose is due
- Engaging in illegal behaviors, like stealing, to get and use the drug
- Participating in dangerous behaviors, like driving, while under the influence of the drug
- “Doctor shopping” to get new prescriptions for the drug
- Changes in physical appearance, especially in the area of personal hygiene
- Becoming more involved in the drug culture
Once one or all of these behaviors are part of a person’s life, he or she is one step closer to heroin addiction. When prescriptions run out and there is no more insurance coverage for new medication, users turn to the street for heroin. According to the Washington Post, a bag of heroin costs between $4 and $5 in North Dakota. That’s less than a pack of cigarettes. With such a low price, heroin addicts can feed their habit several times a day.
Opioid Treatment in North Dakota
There are many options when it comes to addiction treatment in North Dakota. Addiction treatment usually begins with medically-supervised detox. This allows the body to rid itself of the toxins of the drug before beginning treatment. After detox, diagnosis of any underlying mental illness that is contributing to or causing the addiction is identified.
Treatment begins after a diagnosis is reached and typically consists of individual and group therapy, family therapy when appropriate, medications to stabilize mental illness and other holistic options that support the treatment program.
Holistic options include exercise, nutrition classes, spiritual counseling, meditation, life skills and career counseling. After treatment, ongoing support groups and continued counseling help prevent relapse. The following rehab facilities are just two of the treatment program available in North Dakota:
North Dakota Teen Challenge Adult Men’s and Women’s Centers
North Dakota Teen Challenge located in Mandan is a 12-month residential program with four graduated levels of recovery and learning. The program consists of daily group classes, daily individual work, daily chapel and bimonthly individual therapy sessions. Work-study programs are part of the plan as residents learn to give back to the community by volunteering at other non-profit organization.
Prairie Saint Johns
Located in Fargo, has a primary focus on mental health and drug rehab. Prairie Saint Johns offers short-term sober living (30 days or less), long-term sober living, outpatient programs, partial hospitalization and day treatment programs.
Help for Drug and Alcohol Addiction
If you or a loved one struggles with substance abuse, reaching out for help is the most important step to recovery. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions about available treatment programs. Call us now.