Agencies offer opioid treatment information to public at State Fair

Governor and first lady to visit booth today

The North Dakota Department of Human Services’ Behavioral Health Division is teaming up with the state’s licensed opioid treatment programs to share information about evidence-based treatment options at the North Dakota State Fair in Minot, through Sunday, according to a press release. Addiction experts will be on hand at the division’s booth in Commercial Building II to discuss effective treatment options in the state.

Today at 6 p.m., Gov. Doug Burgum and first lady Kathryn Helgaas Burgum will visit the booth to continue promoting conversations about the No. 1 social problem in North Dakota: alcohol and drug use.

“The governor and I have pledged to reduce the social stigma and shame surrounding addiction and to treat addiction like the chronic disease that it is,” said Helgaas Burgum in the press release. “We envision a state where prevention works, treatment is effective and people recover from addiction.”

Nationally in 2014, an estimated 1.9 million people had an opioid use disorder related to prescription pain relievers according to the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and an estimated 586,000 others had an opioid use disorder related to heroin.

Medication-assisted treatment is considered a “best practice” for treating opioid use disorder. North Dakota currently has three licensed opioid treatment programs providing medication-assisted treatment, including methadone. During June 2017, about 160 individuals received treatment at one of the programs: Community Medical Services in Minot and Fargo, and Heartview Foundation in Bismarck.

The Behavioral Health Division offers a simple way to find treatment services. Visit www.behavioralhealth.dhs.nd.gov/addiction/locator.

“Addiction to opioids is a treatable disease that can require medical intervention,” said Behavioral Health Division Director Pamela Sagness in the press release. “Anyone can become addicted. Treating someone with a chronic opioid use disorder is no different than treating someone with heart disease or diabetes.”


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