Heroin and opiate abuse is seeping throughout our community into our schools, our jobs and our homes. If you don't know someone affected by heroin, chances are you will someday. Heroin kills more people in the Fargo area than homicides. In 2017, the Fargo Police Department investigated 40 calls for service related to opioid overdoses and, of those, 10 resulted in a death.
Heroin and opiates destroy the lives of the users, their families and our community. It affects us all, rich or poor, white collar or blue. Young and old. Men and women. Heroin and opiates don’t discriminate and knows no bounds. As a community, we have to work together towards one goal: to end the opiate and heroin epidemic.
Know the signs
Knowing the drug abuse could save a life. It could be the first step in getting someone the care they need.
Addicts will never be far from their drugs because they need immediate and direct access to their drugs. You don't need to be looking for the drugs themselves, but more, the signs of drug use. These signs are all around us. Overtime, innocent or common actions transform into a bigger picture. Many times the most ordinary items, when combined with other seemingly harmless signs can indicate a need for intervention.
Search in cars, waste baskets, backpacks, books, personal accessories. Look inside stuffed animals or toys that may be used to store a drug kit.
Signs of overdose
An overdose can be life-threatening and requires immediate emergency care. Opioid overdose is a medical emergency. Providing breaths is the most important thing you can do until emergency personnel arrive.
If you suspect a heroin overdose CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY
- Chocking or gurgling sound
- Ashen or blue skin and/or fingernails
- Weak or no pulse
- White patches on tongue
- Awake but not able to talk
- Shallow breathing
- Loss of consciousness
There are several steps in the treatment and recovery of heroin and opiate addiction. The first step is admitting you have a problem and getting help. Please use this non-exhaustive list of resources in our community to get yourself or someone you know or love get help. Learn about local resources to assist you or a loved one to a path of recovery.
- Substance Use Disorder Voucher supports eligible individuals in their personal recovery by reducing financial barriers in accessing substance use disorder treatment and recovery services.
- South East Human Service Center Open Access is an opportunity for your to initiate mental health and substance use services without scheduling an appointment. During the designated times, services are provided based on your level of need.
- Medication-Assisted Opioid Treatment Programs
- Buprenorphine Treatment Practitioners in ND
- Behavioral Health Treatment Services in ND
- ND Cares Providers
The North Dakota Cares coalition (ND Cares) began in May of 2013 after a team from North Dakota attended an academy hosted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). In January 2015, Governor Jack Dalrymple formalized the coalition under Executive Order 2015-01. ND Cares is not a provider of services; rather it is dedicated to improving understanding of the needs and services required by our heroes who should be able to access them close to home.
Overdose Prevention and Immunity Law
The North Dakota overdose prevention and immunity law protects individuals from criminal prosecution if they contact law enforcement or emergency medical services to report they or another individual is in need of emergency medical assistance due to a drug overdose. To receive immunity under this statute, the individual receiving immunity must have:
- Remained on scene until assistance arrived;
- Cooperated with emergency medical services in the medical treatment of the reported drug overdosed individual. For example telling emergency personnel what drug or drugs were taken, how much, and when;
- And the overdosed individual must have been in need of emergency medical services.
If these criteria are met, the statue grants individuals immunity from prosecution for possession, ingestion, or sharing of a controlled substance or possession of drug paraphernalia that occurred at the scene where the overdose occurred. The law does not provide immunity for delivery, manufacturing, or distribution of a controlled substance.