Whenever a rare resource has been discovered in some part of the United States, it has almost always caused a massive surge of people rushing to that area to find jobs and to “strike it rich.” This was the case for the legendary “49ers” moving to California to find gold, and it’s the case for the men and women moving to North Dakota for the booming natural gas industry there.
The new technology of “fracking” has led to previously unexploited reserves of natural gas and oil now being ripe for drilling. Since North Dakota is sparsely populated, huge amounts of new workers have been needed for this industry to expand. While the results on the environment are questionable, the impact on the state’s economy has been massive.
The men and women that are moving to North Dakota (and the ones that already lived there) are flush with cash from the many lucrative jobs that are available. While this may be good for their pocketbooks and the welfare of their families, it has been causing a familiar problem. Just as has happened at other “gold rush” moments in our history, this influx of easy cash is leading to an increase in drug use throughout the state.
The population of North Dakota is expanding so rapidly that the infrastructure of the state can hardly keep up. There aren’t enough homes to go around, the airports are having difficulty scheduling enough flights, and even law enforcement is being pushed to the limits. The state has seen the number of drug arrests and the number of violent assaults shoot upwards for three years in a row.
For example, the “oil patch” counties saw 813 drug offenses in 2013, while there were 115 ten years before in 2003. For a state that historically hasn’t had much of a problem with either drug use or violent crime, this has been an unexpected and bewildering change.
Families throughout North Dakota might like the fact that there are so many new jobs available and that so many of them pay well (some reports say that even some grocery store jobs can net you $25 an hour), no one wants to see these drug use trends continue. In order to turn them around effectively, communities need to begin taking effective, one-on-one action to help keep their friends and new neighbors from succumbing to drug addiction.
Drug addiction is a gradual process that begins with experimentation and ends with complete physical and mental dependence on a toxic or deadly substance. There are many signs that can indicate that someone has started to use drugs, and if you catch them early enough, you can help your friends and family members handle drug use completely. Trained drug rehab counselors are standing by at Solution to Addiction, and they want to help your loved one find the right treatment option today. Call1-800-343-0892 and starting talking to someone that can help!