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North Dakota

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North Dakota Addiction Statistics

While all states have their share of drug and alcohol issues, North Dakota is near the top of the list for alcohol use in the United States. According to a study conducted by CBS News, 30 percent of North Dakota residents admitted to binge drinking in the past 30 days. To break that statistic down, nearly one out of every three North Dakota residents drank in excess at least once in the prior month.

A study completed by the North Dakota state government in 2015 showed a promising decrease in the non-medical use of prescription drugs. Nearly 6.5 percent of North Dakota residents reported non-medical use of prescription drugs in 2011, compared to only 4.9 percent in 2015. Of students in grades 7-12, 16.4 percent admitted to the non-medical use of prescription drugs at least once in their lifetime.

Despite the fact that non-medical use of these drugs has decreased, the rate of overdose deaths in North Dakota has nearly doubled in the past 5 years. This is likely due to a dramatic increase in the strength of prescription medications. Many addictions that begin with prescription painkillers and other pharmaceutical drugs are often followed by the use of heroin or other opioid drugs.

North Dakota Takes Action Against Alcohol Use

North Dakota responded to the state’s alcohol crisis with regulation. The state began by adding a zero-tolerance drunk driving law for residents under the age of 21. This means that anyone under the age of 21 who is driving with a BAC of over 0.0 percent will be subject to fines and possible jail time.

Additional laws that were passed in 2014 to combat drunk driving include mass media campaigns and school education to inform residents of the risks of drinking and driving. Ignition interlocks have also been installed in the cars of known offenders. These devices prevent the ignition from starting the vehicle if the individual blows a BAC of over a certain percentage.

For all illicit drug use and use, the state of North Dakota has relied on multi-component interventions to bring awareness and treatment options to every county. For these interventions, the state relies heavily on community coalitions and task forces to help combat the drug crisis on a local level.

Addiction Treatment In North Dakota

Not all drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs are the same. Some programs may focus on treating a specific type of substance use, while others may focus on offering services for one specific gender or demographic. This differentiation among addiction treatment programs in North Dakota is important because it enables patients to choose a program that best matches their needs.

Drug And Alcohol Detox

While withdrawal symptoms are uncomfortable for most individuals, there are some types of addiction that can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. The drugs most commonly involved in this type of severe addiction include alcohol, opioids, and benzodiazepines.

When an addiction reaches the point of life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, medical detox is often a necessary first step in the recovery process. Medical detox uses a combination of medical expertise and support, along with medications to help patients safely make it through the withdrawal phase.

Medically supervised detox help patients to cope with severe withdrawal symptoms such as:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • High fever
  • Night sweats
  • Insomnia
  • Psychosis
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Heart palpitations
  • Seizures

It is important to note that medical detox should always be followed by an inpatient or outpatient drug rehab program that can also treat the mental and emotional factors associated with addiction.

Inpatient Drug Rehab

Inpatient drug rehab is widely considered to be one of the most successful types of rehab programs in the United States. During a residential addiction treatment program, patients are completely removed from the stressors of their previous environment and are placed in a supportive setting surrounded by individuals who understand what they are going through.

Not all North Dakota inpatient drug rehabs are created equal, and it is important to first decide which aspects of rehab are important to recovery before choosing one. Some aspects that can help determine if a rehab program is a good match include amenities, living arrangements, food offerings, and treatment modalities.

Outpatient Addiction Treatment

Outpatient treatment programs for drug or alcohol addiction can be used in combination with an inpatient program or can be used as a standalone treatment program. It is recommended that outpatient addiction treatment is used as a standalone program for individuals who are unable to dedicate the time away from work or their families to complete an inpatient program.

When used as a transitional tool for individuals who have already completed an inpatient or residential drug rehab program, outpatient rehab can be extremely successful for many patients. Most North Dakota outpatient addiction treatment programs help their patients apply skills and coping mechanisms learned during inpatient rehab to the daily challenges of life in sobriety.

Depending on each patient’s level of independence in their recovery process, a more intensive outpatient program may be necessary. Intensive outpatient programs will meet more frequently than traditional outpatient programs—sometimes as frequently as 5 to 6 days per week. Many intensive outpatient programs also offer 24/7 support for their patients to keep them on track even on the tough days.

Specialized Addiction Treatment Programs In North Dakota

For some types of addiction, it may be necessary to participate in a specialized treatment program. Many addiction treatment centers offer specialized programs to assist patients in the recovery process.

Religious organizations sometimes sponsor addiction treatment programs that are faith-based, incorporating faith into each patient’s treatment plan.

Other types of specialty rehab programs can include:

  • 12-step programs
  • 12-step alternatives
  • Holistic healing programs
  • Gender-specific programs
  • Spiritual or faith-based programs
  • Dual-diagnosis treatment
  • Medication-assisted treatment
  • Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders

When an individual has been given a diagnosis of a mental health disorder along with a substance use disorder, this is known as co-occurring disorders. Many drug and alcohol treatment facilities in North Dakota offer specialized programs for the treatment of co-occurring disorders. These dual-diagnosis programs treat both the mental health disorder and the addiction simultaneously to encourage a full recovery for patients.

Gender-Specific Programs

For some individuals, participating in a drug or alcohol treatment program where the opposite sex is present can feel intimidating. Gender-specific programs can help relax this feeling and make patients feel more comfortable in their surroundings. Many facilities in North Dakota offer gender-specific treatment groups, enabling patients to feel at ease during their treatment.

Medication-Assisted Treatment

Often used in medical detox, medication-assisted treatment can also be used to encourage long-term sobriety. Certain types of medications can assist in the recovery process for individuals suffering from severe or long-term addiction by curbing cravings and helping prevent withdrawal symptoms.

Addiction Treatment Therapies

A variety of treatment modalities and therapies may be used during both inpatient and outpatient rehab. These therapies vary based on the type of addiction treatment program and what the patient responds to best.

Some common addiction treatment therapies include:

  • Family counseling
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Dialectical behavior therapy
  • Addiction education
  • Individual counseling and group meetings
  • Outpatient support groups and support sponsors
  • Stress management and coping mechanisms

Complementary Therapies

Some therapies used in the treatment of drug and alcohol addiction are intended to support or complement other clinical therapies by focusing on whole-person wellness.

These complementary therapies may include:

  • Equine therapy
  • Biofeedback
  • Art therapy
  • Aromatherapy
  • Use of therapy animals
  • Journaling
  • Yoga
  • Exercise

Length Of Treatment At Rehab Centers

Length of treatment can vary greatly depending on patient needs and the type of program that the patient is participating in. Short-term drug rehab is generally considered to be 14 days to 90 days in length, with many short-term facilities offering programs in increments of 30 days. Short-term programs are often very structured and sometimes more intensive than longer programs.

Long-term addiction treatment stays can last anywhere from three months to one year, sometimes transitioning into a sober-living home to offer continued support while the patient adapts to independence. Long-term rehab is not only for individuals with severe or long-term addictions; it can be a good choice for anyone struggling with any type of addiction.

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Paying For Addiction Treatment

Many payment options exist for addiction treatment. It is not uncommon for health insurance plans to cover some or all of the costs associated with addiction treatment.

Health insurance carriers that may offer coverage in North Dakota include:

  • Sanford Health Plan
  • Medica Health Plan
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota (Noridian Mutual)
  • Aetna
  • Cigna
  • United HealthCare

For those who are not covered by a health insurance plan, other payment methods can make financing drug rehab possible. Some facilities offer payment plans for individuals who qualify that can break the cost of treatment down into smaller monthly payments.

There are also various forms of healthcare loans that can be taken out with little or no interest charged to the patient. These types of loans are sometimes sponsored by state governments and may also be available through Medicaid or Medicare. Like a payment plan, breaking this cost down into monthly or quarterly payments can take a significant amount of stress off the patient’s shoulders.

Out-Of-State Addiction Treatment

The best drug and alcohol treatment program for a person’s unique needs may not be located in their home state. This should not be seen as negative in the search for a treatment program. It is not uncommon for families to intentionally send their loved ones to drug and alcohol rehab facilities that are out of state to ensure they are receiving the best care possible.

Other benefits associated with participating in an out-of-state drug or alcohol rehab program can include:

  • Added privacy
  • Complete focus on recovery
  • Distance from previous relationships associated with drug or alcohol use
  • Distance from triggers that lead to drug use
  • Building close relationships with others in the program