Anyone can be a victim of drug addiction, even those that are not using it. But of course, those who are directly affected are the ones using it. Drugs can have very dangerous effects, even deadly ones. There are also so many people who have already died because of it and those who are still struggling with it. While there are those who want to change by stopping the use of it, still many people are using it. And now, people of all ages, gender, and status are using it. Here is a story from a nineteen-year-old sharing her own story about drugs.
In 2016, there were 54 drug overdose deaths in North Dakota. While North Dakota is doing better compared to the nation as a whole, the rise in deaths since 2014 is alarming. Our Malique Rankin spoke to a teen who is a recovering addict; working every day to stay sober. Audrey Snyder; 19-year-old: “Now I’m 19. And I have felonies and I can’t go back. I can’t go change the past, but all I can do is move forward.” Her story starts at age 12 when she began smoking pot, but the drug use didn’t end there.
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Audrey Snyder: “At 15 I started getting into meth, and then I had my son when I was 16… I started doing heroin at 17. I started IV using almost daily. I didn’t really care if I lived or died and I was in jail a lot.”
Audrey works on her recovery everyday and has had some help. Because of intervention programs, Audrey said her life changed when she got a visit in jail from 2 ND Teen Challenge counselors.
Kathryn Helgaas Burgum; First Lady of ND: “Addiction is a disease. So we look at opportunities to provide potential intervention or treatment and recovery. What can we do to connect those people, potentially with resources.”
The Office of the first lady, the behavioral health department, human services, and the AG’s office are just of few of the entities working together to stop overdoses.”
And they continue to introduce programs to address the epidemic.
Randy Ziegler: “in what we’ve seized in the Bismarck area as far as heroin, in 2014, we seized 17 grams of heroin. In 2017, we confiscated over 100 grams.”