Substance Abuse Statistics of North Dakota

It is almost always a little bit difficult to be enthusiastic about wading through statistics but it’s important to understand more about drug and alcohol intake in North Dakota from the studies and research being done on the substances and how they affect communities within the Peace Garden State. The research and the results of these studies are vital to ensure hopeful outcomes as we seek better outcomes when treating these different struggles affecting our communities in North Dakota. Mental illness, adolescent substance abuse, suicide, crime, neglect, trauma, or abuse and how each of these different aspects of life in North Dakota affects the drug addicts among us can aid the scientific research so that recovery techniques can be more effective at treating the addiction as well as other underlying problems that often come with substance use disorder.


Alcohol Abuse and Crime in North Dakota


A recent report and public service announcement put together by the North Dakota State Epidemiological Outcomes Workgroup (SEOW) made the claim that alcohol use increased the likelihood of criminal activity. This seems counterintuitive since it’s a ‘legal drug’ with regulations on the sale and distribution, so it would seem the illegal drug for which just having it can make a person a criminal would the one more likely increase the possibility of criminal activity. In context, however, the far greater number of people that use alcohol produce the higher raw numbers that outpace the use of other drugs in connection with arrests made. That is, even if 100% of all users of cocaine were arrested, it still would be less than a quarter of the total arrests related to alcohol.

Over 40% of all fatal car accidents involve alcohol. A DUI along with manslaughter is far more likely to happen with an alcoholic drink than any other crime related to any other drug in North Dakota. A quarter of all total arrests made in the state are for driving under the influence. 33.7%, or basically one third, of all total arrests were alcohol related.

While none of these are excusable, they are certainly considered crimes. Alcohol abuse often incurs serious damage and oftentimes is a sign of addiction pending or in progress. That’s why 77% of all alcohol related incidents also involve the offender being sentenced to addiction treatment. They may not be as intentionally offensive crimes, they do often result in death and injury which are typically thought of when thinking of most other drugs.


Drug Arrests In North Dakota


According to the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI), which produces an annual Crime & Homicide Report compiled from law agencies operating on behalf of the state, drug arrests in the state have increased 488% in the past 25 years. They also point out that when those 4,382 arrests were broken down by violation, they noted that ‘in the past five years, heroin and methamphetamine related drug violations have skyrocketed’.

Methamphetamine arrests accounted for over 1,600 incidents studied in the report in 2015. In 2010, there were just 246 arrests in the same category. Heroin, in that same five year period, has gone from just 4 arrests to 177 arrests. While those numbers may not be impressive to someone in a highly populated city like New York, they are tragically high for the state historically both in hard numbers and per capita. Cocaine has had a steady rise in that period from 35 violations to 100 per year.

The report suggests that the rise in use and incidents was related to the oil boom that attracted more people to the state for opportunity and work. With the boom effectively over as far as the BCI report is concerned, the analysts say the day makes it uncertain why the use is still high when normal ‘evidence’ of high use is also down, such as transients.

Statistically, 10% of everyone over the age of 12 has used an illicit drug in the past month.



Treatment Center Admissions In North Dakota


Drug treatment centers accept patients either through sentencing, self referral or medical referral. The 26-35 age group historically makes up the largest age group receiving therapy for addiction. Coupled with it’s low arrest rate, cocaine admissions rank as the least admitted in rehab facilities. A spike in meth admissions from 20% to 30% mirrors the rise in use and arrests and is over 10% higher than admissions for alcohol with a secondary drug. While North Dakota’s opioid addiction issues are less than the national average, centers still managed to have 10% of patients entering treatment for opiate use, whether prescription or heroin.

One of the goals of a treatment center is to increase the overall public health quality and life expectancy, which includes contributing to the efforts involved with reducing overdose deaths in the state. While the rate is only half the US average, there are still 8% of addicts and users who died of an intentional or accidental overdose in 2015, up 2% from the previous year.

Pharmacotherapies, which involve the use of approved medications to assist with addiction therapy in ways such as reducing the effects of withdrawal, for the state are far below the national average when it comes to treatments offered in facilities as of 2016 according to the North Dakota SEOW report. While this may not be the desirable position for coverage to represent the state, it currently matches the rates of use of drugs that have a pharmacotherapy available to treat it. For instance, meth is one of the highest rates of use and arrest but has no approved drug for treatment the way opioids have naloxone and similar drugs. However, with the uptick in apparent usage, this number could stand to be expanded in the future if the state’s prevention plans continue to face worsening numbers.

Part of the balancing act involves there even being enough treatment centers that offer necessary treatments for the population at the rate that the increase problems seem to be paced at. To find an addiction treatment center in North Dakota that fits your needs, contact us now.