By Patrice Bumstead
General Manager of McKenzie County Media LLC
Let’s talk about drugs. Because if we don’t, the problem grows. Because if we don’t, our children and loved ones continue to be at risk. Because if we don’t, we will continue to see the drug overdose numbers skyrocket to all-time highs.
In just the last two months (as of Friday, Nov. 4), the Northwest Judicial District has seen 36 methamphetamine-related arrests, 18 fentanyl-related arrests, seven minor in consumption charges, three of which were drug-related. There have been five (too many) charges for contributing to a minor and 13 DUI charges for drugs.
Some might say, that’s not too bad considering the national averages are way more, or larger cities have 10 times those numbers. But, they also have 10 times the population. We live in a state that has more cattle than people.
The CDC reports that more than 107,000 Americans died from a drug overdose in the 12-months ending in January 2022. Of those deaths, 75 percent or 80,590, involved at least one opioid, with 71,450 (66.5 percent) involving synthetic opioids, primarily illicitly manufactured fentanyl or fentanyl analogs.
Recently, a brightly colored loose powder and pills marketed to resemble candy or even sidewalk chalk, known as Rainbow Fentanyl have made their way into western North Dakota. This opioid is currently classified as the deadliest drug in the U.S. and that is terrifying!