North Dakota Drug Rehabs

The number of North Dakota residents struggling with a heroin and methamphetamine-related addiction has substantially increased over the past several years. Addiction treatment programs, such as the Reducing Pharmaceutical Narcotics in Our Communities Task Force, aim to keep individuals and community members safe from the dangers of substance abuse.

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North Dakota Addiction Treatment

In the past several years, North Dakota has experienced an increase in the number of drug cases involving heroin and methamphetamine. Between 2013 and 2015, the State Crime Laboratory saw a 400 percent growth in heroin-related drug cases.

North Dakota methamphetamine-related drug violations rose from 246 in 2010 to 1,633 in 2015 – a 564 percent increase. In the same timeframe, heroin violations skyrocketed by 4,300 percent.

Beginning in 2010, North Dakota’s oil boom led to a significant rise in population across many cities, like Williston. With a greater demand for drugs, specifically prescription painkillers, black market prices rose quickly. However, the high prices for prescription drugs drove many people to seek less expensive alternatives, including heroin.

Illegal drugs in North Dakota are often transported via highway by Mexican cartels. Interstates 29 and 94 are commonly used to move substances in and out of North Dakota. For example, Interstate 29 runs north to south from Kansas to Canada, and passes through eastern North Dakota cities like Fargo and Grand Forks. Interstate 94 is an east-west highway that extends from west Michigan to central Montana, cutting through Bismarck and Dickinson. Other methods of transit include parcel delivery services, trains and tractor-trailers.

North Dakota law enforcement agency initiatives have helped increase the number of prevention, intervention and recovery services. Each year, an increasing rate of North Dakota residents seek treatment for their addiction.

While alcohol is the primary substance cited in treatment admissions, other cases encompass:

If you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction, there is help available. Contact a treatment provider today.

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Laws Of North Dakota Drug Use

Possessing, manufacturing or distributing a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) comes with serious criminal charges in North Dakota.

Drug arrests in North Dakota have dramatically increased in the past 25 years – roughly 488 percent. Between 2011 and 2015, the number of drug and alcohol offenses more than doubled – from 344 to 779.

Substances are organized into five schedules depending on their risk for abuse. Schedules I and II contain the most harmful substances like heroin, opioids, opium derivatives, codeinemorphine and oxycodone. Schedules IV and V are less likely to be abused and may have recognized medical uses such as Ezogabine, Pregabalin, some stimulants, Propofol and Dextropropoxyphene.

Offenses are then divided into seven classes: class AA felony, class A felony, class B felony, class C felony, class A misdemeanor, class B misdemeanor and infraction. These help determine the appropriate criminal charges, jail time and maximum fines. Generally, CDS penalties range from class A felony to class A misdemeanor.

Criminal Charge Potential Sentence
Infraction (first offense) Up to $1,000 fine
Class B Misdemeanor Up to 30 days in jail and $1,500 fine
Class  A Misdemeanor Up to 1 year in jail and $3,000 fine
Class C Felony Up to 5 years in jail and $10,000 fine
Class B Felony Up to 10 years in jail and $20,000 fine
Class A Felony Up to 20 years in jail and $20,000 fine
Class AA Felony Up to life in jail with no opportunity for parole

Marijuana Laws In North Dakota

Marijuana use for both recreational or medical purposes is illegal in North Dakota. The possession, sale, manufacture of marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia comes with tight legal penalties. Paraphernalia is classified as anything used to manufacture, store or consume marijuana such as water pipes, bongs, roach clips and rolling papers.

While possession is a serious offense, the sale of marijuana comes with much harsher consequences. For instance, criminal charges for selling marijuana may come with a mandatory minimum sentence (MMS). An MMS means you must serve an entire sentence without the chance of parole.

Legal penalties for marijuana are arranged accordingly:

Offense Criminal Charge Potential Sentence
1 oz or less Misdemeanor 30 days in jail and $1,500 fine
More than 1 oz – 500 g Felony 5 years in jail and $10,000 fine
More than 500 g Felony 10 years in jail and $20,000 fine
Any amount Felony 3 – 10 years in jail and $20,000 fine
Using a minor Felony 10 years in jail and $20,000 fine
Any amount within 1,000 feet of a school Felony 20 years in jail and $20,000 fine
Possession, manufacture, delivery or advertisement of paraphernalia Misdemeanor 1 year in jail and $3,000 fine
To a minor Felony 5 years in jail and $10,000 fine

Any marijuana-related offense in North Dakota requires an individual to undergo a drug addiction evaluation. In addition, those who are convicted while under the age of 18 will have their driver’s license suspended for up to six months.

Addiction Treatment Laws In North Dakota

North Dakota has enacted various harm reduction laws in an effort to help those struggling with an addiction and promote healthy living.

Harm reduction laws may entail:

  • Clean syringe programs.
  • Prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs).
  • Naloxone accessibility.
  • 911 Good Samaritan laws.
  • Prescription take back services.

Each of these laws strive to keep individuals and community members safe from the dangerous effects of substance abuse. With harm reduction laws, state and local agencies can focus on addiction prevention and safety for years to come.

Reducing Pharmaceuticals In The Community Task Force

North Dakota’s Reducing Pharmaceutical Narcotics in Our Communities Task Force is made up of more than 40 statewide organizations. Managed by the Department of Human Services, the task force meets on a quarterly basis to discuss addiction prevention, intervention, recovery, treatment and ongoing assistance efforts.

The Reducing Pharmaceuticals in the Community Task Force in North Dakota supports local and state initiatives to help prevent and reduce the number of drug-related overdoses.

The primary concerns of the task force are:

  • Education
  • Take Back Program
  • Law enforcement
  • Prescription Drug Monitoring Program
  • Treatment

The most recent campaign, “Stop Overdose,” provides information about the dangers of an overdose to individuals, the general public, health professionals, law enforcement, doctors and pharmacists. By sharing resources about the signs of an overdose and treatment, North Dakota hopes to save lives and keep communities safe.

Naloxone Laws In North Dakota

In April 2016, the North Dakota Board of Pharmacy began allowing pharmacists to prescribe naloxone to patients, family members and friends who are at risk of an overdose. Naloxone, commonly sold under the brand name Narcan, is a medication that reverses the harmful effects of an overdose. It takes approximately two to five minutes for naloxone to work after being administered.

Prescription opioid and heroin abuse has impacted individuals and families across the state. We need to ensure individuals at risk of an overdose have access to the life-saving medication naloxone.

- Pamela Sagness, Behavioral Health Division director

You can obtain a prescription for naloxone in North Dakota from your doctor or a pharmacist. Many private insurance policies cover the cost of naloxone when used for the treatment of an opioid overdose.

Prescription Drug Take Back Program In North Dakota

The Prescription Drug Take Back Program in North Dakota launched in December 2009. It became the first state in the country to have a year-round, statewide take back program. Within the first six years of the program, more than 9,400 pounds of unused and expired prescription medications were collected.

Since North Dakota’s Drug Take Back Program’s start in late 2009, residents have properly and safely disposed of unused and expired prescription medications. This not only helps keep drugs off the street, but also keeps the state’s environment clean.

In 2016, North Dakota’s Drug Take Back program was expanded to include the Yellow Jug program. The Yellow Jug program allows pharmacies to have an accessible container on their counter for customers to safely dispose of any unused or unwanted prescription medications.

Treatment Centers In North Dakota

The July 2016 approval of North Dakota Senate Bill 2048 introduced a voucher pay system for substance abuse treatment services. This improves the access to rehab facilities for those in need of and unable to pay for treatment on their own.

Although the voucher pay system is new to North Dakota, many rehab facilities are beginning to take part in the program. Vouchers cover different costs relating to treatment such as:

  • Screenings
  • Assessments
  • Individual therapies
  • Group & family therapies
  • Room and board costs
  • Recovery coaches
  • Urine analysis
  • Transportation

North Dakota’s substance use disorder (SUD) state-funded voucher program aims to provide addiction treatment services to residents who are in need of help and unable to afford it.

To be eligible to receive assistance from the substance use disorder (SUD) voucher program, an individual must:

  • Reside in North Dakota.
  • Be 18 years of age or older.
  • Have a licensed professional determine they are in need of one or more of the services provided.
  • Sign a Release of Information for the Department of Human Services to access treatment and financial records, as well as health care coverage information.
  • Prove financial need.
  • Meet annual income requirements – no greater than 200 percent of federal poverty guidelines.

No matter where you choose to get help, there are treatment options available. Determine what’s most important to you by reviewing different amenities, therapies and even rehab activities. You may find a facility close to home, or maybe your desired treatment is further away in another state.

There is help available. Contact a treatment provider today.



Jeffrey Juergens

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  • Jeffrey Juergens earned his Bachelor’s and Juris Doctor from the University of Florida. Jeffrey’s desire to help others led him to focus on economic and social development and policy making. After graduation, he decided to pursue his passion of writing and editing. Jeffrey’s mission is to educate and inform the public on addiction issues and help those in need of treatment find the best option for them.

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