ND heroin usage and addiction rate jumps 1,000%

By  | 

Grand Forks, ND (Valley News Live) We’ve uncovered some shocking numbers related to heroin use, with the help of the North Dakota Department of Human Services.
The number of people being treated for addiction and heroin use has skyrocketed over 1,000-percent over the past 2 years.
North Dakota heroin addiction numbers are staggering.
In July of 2013, just 17 North Dakotans were being treated for addiction problems, that include heroin usage, every month at Department of Human Services Counseling Centers.
By last December, that number rose to 198, nearly 200 people every month are now being treated for addiction problems that include heroin.
Debra Davis, ND Human Services: “The young people that are shooting up… listening to them talk about the process… I’m with my dealer, it’s like he’s giving me lessons how to shoot up.”
Reporter: “And these kids can be how young?”
Davis: “Fifteen, 16, 17, 18…”
And Davis says the most shocking thing about what’s happening on the streets of North Dakota, is that many of the new heroin users, aren’t the usual, chronic abusers who finally give in to heroin. They’re users who now start with heroin as their drug of choice.
Debra Davis: “Definitely around the State, the other issue comes in, we seeing a lot more women, pregnant women using.”
Davis says heroin is available and it’s cheap. She says it’s left them with a shortage of counselors across the State, and looking for new ways to treat the growing number of users.
Debra Davis: “We’re really having to study our programs and look at a more recovery management model for treating this as a chronic disease, not just acute care all the time.”
And as we earlier reported, drug overdoses are now claiming more lives in the Valley than car accidents, according to the Coroner’s office in Grand Forks.
Davis says another part of the overall problem is that meth isn’t currently as readily available as heroin.
North Dakota laws have made it tougher for users to buy the ingredients needed to make meth.