Wednesday, Aug. 31 is International Overdose Awareness Day. The North Dakota Department of Health, North Dakota Highway Patrol and North Dakota Department of Human Services are remembering people lost to drug overdoses and their family members and raising awareness about available prevention resources that can help save North Dakotans’ lives.
According to the Department of Health’s Violent Death Reporting System, there were 115 drug overdose deaths in 2020. Preliminary data from 2021, shows North Dakota had 131 drug overdose deaths with nearly 40% involving individuals ages 30-39.
“Our contribution to this public health issue involves improving the monitoring, collecting and reporting of data on overdose deaths in a timely manner to help our partners, key stakeholders and community members with their decision-making processes to continue to strengthen statewide prevention efforts,” said Kodi Pinks, DoH epidemiologist.
NDHP Col. Brandon Solberg agrees that partnerships are critical in helping build stronger communities to help reduce drug overdose deaths.
“Eliminating the demand for illicit, potentially lethal drugs requires ongoing partnerships between criminal justice and public health agencies to ensure timely access to treatment and recovery services,” he said.
Recognizing the signs and symptoms
Resources to save lives
committed to working with our partners to address the overdose epidemic," said Behavioral Health Division Director Pamela Sagness. “Ensuring North Dakotans have access to naloxone and training on how to use it in the event they encounter an individual experiencing an overdose is a crucial step in saving lives statewide."
With funding from a federal grant, the division has distributed nearly 31,400 naloxone kits since 2017 and provided training on how to administer it.
Various treatment options are available for individuals with a substance use disorder including the department’s eight regional human service centers, four licensed opioid treatment programs as well as other private providers. To find a treatment provider in North Dakota, visit
To request naloxone training, or other resources to prevent overdose and overdose deaths, visit behavioralhealth.nd.gov/opioids or contact a local public health unit.