In the serene landscapes of North Dakota, a troubling trend has emerged, casting a shadow over its communities. According to recent data from the North Dakota Health & Human Services Department, there has been a stark increase in unintentional drug overdose death rates from 2019 to 2022, and the data used to compile the report is through July 11, 2023.

Alarming Surge: North Dakota's Overdose Death Rate Skyrockets by 75%

The overdose death rate has surged from 0.98 per 10,000 in 2019 to a concerning 1.71 per 10,000 in 2022, marking a staggering 75% increase over this four-year period. This uptick translates to an average of two North Dakotans losing their lives to unintentional drug overdoses each week.

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Understanding North Dakota's Overdose Crisis

Unveiling the demographics of this crisis, it's revealed that two-thirds of overdose deaths were males, with most victims under the age of 39, averaging 37.3 years old. Tragically, over 75% of these deaths occurred in the sanctity of homes or apartments.

Delving into the toxicology results, a disconcerting picture emerges. The majority of deaths involved multiple substances, with opioids and amphetamines being the most common combination, accounting for 38% of cases. Additionally, alcohol was present in 29% of cases, further complicating the lethal concoction.

Furthermore, the data exposes disparities among different population groups. Over the years, the overdose death rate for males outpaced that of females, and the American Indian population experienced a significantly higher rate compared to the white population.

One particularly alarming trend is the rise in fentanyl-involved deaths, which have surged to 1.19 per 10,000 in 2022. Since 2019, a staggering 61% of overdose deaths had fentanyl present in their toxicology results.

Which counties had the highest overdoses in North Dakota?

Sioux, Mountrail, and Benson Counties have the highest rates of overdose deaths in ND since 2019, with over 2x the state overdose death rate.

As we in North Dakota grapple with this ongoing crisis, it's imperative to address it comprehensively, focusing on prevention, education, and access to treatment. By fostering a community-wide dialogue and implementing evidence-based interventions, we can strive to stem the tide of unintentional drug overdose deaths and safeguard the well-being of all North Dakotans.

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LOOK: Counties with the highest unemployment in North Dakota

Stacker compiled a list of the counties with the highest unemployment in North Dakota using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Counties are ranked by unemployment rate in November 2023.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

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