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What Is The Status Of Opioids In North Dakota?

What Is The Status Of Opioids In North Dakota?

Last updated on 05 Apr, 2024

In North Dakota, prescribed opioids such as oxycodone, Tapentadol and hydrocodone, among others, are legal, whereas non-prescribed opioids like heroin and other synthetic opioids are illegal.

Prescription medications like Oxycontin, Vicodin, Codeine, Fentanyl, and other opioids, have saturated the markets in North Dakota pharmacies and on the streets. 

These narcotics are easily and readily available in particular. It is because so many drugs are acquirable through a pain prescription from a trusted physician. But are opioids legal in North Dakota? 

Citizens of The Peace Garden State are struggling with opioid addiction more than ever.  But even though signs of opioid addiction are hazardous, there is hope in drug addiction recovery treatment.

Opioids- An Introduction

Opioids belong to the drug class that acts on opioid receptors. It imparts euphoric effects like morphine. Opioid effects on the brain can cause addiction and psychological disorders [1]. 

So are opioids legal? Prescribed opioids such as oxycodone, codeine, hydrocodone, etc., are primarily for pain relief, and other conditions like diarrhea, anesthesia, cough, etc, are legal. 

Certain illegal substances like heroin and other synthetic opioids also belong to this drug class. 

Proper prescription use of opioids helps to address medical conditions. However, improper administration of overdose, abuse, and recreational use can cause compulsion and dependence. 

It can result in severe health risks along with rare symptoms of opioid allergy.

Actual Numbers In North Dakota

Newspapers reported a ‘1000% Increase in Heroin Overdose Deaths’ in 2016. While they weren’t wrong, the number suggests a far more severe problem than the actual number suggests. In reality, paying attention to such habits is a wake-up call.  

Also, be concerned for those around you before the irreversible damage of addiction.

The raw numbers referred to by these headlines hope to get the state to be proactive instead of reactive.  A noticeable increase from 4 deaths per year to 14 the following year is to be heeded. While these numbers aren’t impressive, the spike is of concern.

If this trend continues, the state will have over one hundred thousand deaths in two years. Considering the status of opioids in North Dakota, the prescription opioid use rate is not significantly lower than the national average.

Non-Prescription Vs. Prescription Opioids In North Dakota

While the number of non-prescription or illegal substances like heroin overdoses is less than 15, it is essential to remember that for every overdose, some get prescription opioids for the first time.

North Dakota is one of the states to adopt a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) [2].  It allows signs of possible addiction or illicit sales to have a high chance of discovery before it translates into a heroin death. 

North Dakota’s statistics suggest some of the effectiveness of such a program; nearly all states without a form of prescription monitoring have higher overdose rates and hospitalizations from use.

Of particular note, prescription drug use among minors has been on a general decline and remains as it has for a while, below the national averages. Of the children using illicit substances, only 14.5% use something heavier than tobacco, alcohol, or marijuana. 

If it reflects adult usage, then let’s consider that less than 1% use prescription opioids or heroin.

Are Opioids Legal? Status Of Fentanyl In North Dakota

According to the DEA, North Dakota saw an increase of 223 percent in illicit heroin and fentanyl use in 2020 [3].

Fentanyl is the latest nationally ongoing opioid abuse and addiction stories chapter. It is a synthetic and very potent form of opioid, which is typically 50-100 times stronger than morphine or heroin [4]. 

Users unaware of this difference are at an extremely high risk of overdose. As they overestimate how much they may use. Other users find out they take it the hard way while mixing it with other drugs like heroin or cocaine.

Victims of overdose who use heroin are often found with a needle still in their arms because of the speed with which fentanyl kills them.

Despite the status of opioids in North Dakota, the state has seen a few instances of fentanyl showing up in drug investigations and overdose cases. Currently, there is insufficient specialized data around it to provide exact numbers about its usage. 

It’s safe to assume that because of the lower use of opioids in general throughout North Dakota, there are relatively few fentanyl users as a result.

Opioid Addiction Treatment Centers In North Dakota

As of 2017, only 36.7% of substance abuse facilities in North Dakota offer any type of pharmacotherapy or opioid addiction treatment program. 

Pharmacotherapy uses additional drugs or opioid antagonist medications to treat overdoses, addiction, or both. Such drugs minimize withdrawal symptoms such as fever, cold chills, etc.  Hospitals are increasingly adding counter-active agent medications to their range of treatments. The adoption of these methods has also been relatively slow compared to the rest of the country. 

With the recent uptick in heroin overdoses, outfitting medical facilities with life-saving medications might become a higher priority.

Treatment for prescription opioid addiction is less likely to require pharmacotherapy. It relies more on behavioral therapy and related treatments. Most treatment facilities are well-equipped to handle such addictive behavior. 

More potent heroin and fentanyl usage may require pharmacotherapy. It may require lengthy searching and traveling to get that kind of care. Research on advanced pharmacotherapy for addiction has deduced that artificial intelligence-based tools may help diagnose opioid addiction earlier before it can cause severe threats [5].

At-Home Treatment Options For Opioid Addiction 

Several patients do not consider going to addiction treatment centers. They prefer staying at home and continuing their journey toward sobriety.

One of the medical treatments that assist incoming clean from addictions is the use of Armodafinil 150 mg. It is a Nootropic that acts on the person's brain and helps in the secretion of hormones, namely dopamine and histamine. 

The Armodafinil dosage helps to avoid distractions and abstain from improper use of opioid analgesics and substances. Using the Nootropic also promotes better mental health and helps manage signs of depression and mood disorders common in addiction treatments. 

The cost of Armodafinil in the USA is $1.60 per tablet and is available at Healthmatter. We also offer additional discounts on your first order. 

What Is The Status Of Opioids In North Dakota - The Outlook

North Dakota is in the midst of a drug addiction epidemic in our history. It is affecting individuals and families across American society. It is the crisis of drugs known as opioids which include both legal and illegal opioids.

Although these drugs are effective when prescribed and taken appropriately, they can be misused and can lead to several consequences, including overdose, death, and addiction.


Cocaine is an addictive substance naturally obtained from coca leaves. It is an illicit compound; however, licensed medical practitioners use cocaine as local anesthesia for medical surgeries.

Opioid antagonists are FDA-approved opioids that treat opioid addictions and overdose.


  1. Opioids,
  2. Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, ndbom
  3. DEA Seizures of Heroin and Fentanyl Increase Across North Dakota in 2020, dea
  4. Fentanyl Facts, CDC.
  5. Artificial intelligence-based tool may help diagnose opioid addiction earlier, sciencedaily


Disclaimer: We do not provide any medical advice.

The contents of Healthma are for informational purpose only and is taken by a thorough evaluation of research papers and Journals. We do not provide professional medical advice, treatment, or diagnosis. We advise all readers to consult a physician before consuming any medication mentioned on the website.