North Dakota Faces Rising Abuse of Prescription Drugs

North Dakota’s attorney general called prescription drug abuse “out of control” in the state and told a conference of social workers, medical professionals and law enforcement officers that immediate action was needed in order to stem the growing problem.

Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said that along with drug and alcohol rehabilitation, a major public relations campaign was needed around the state to let parents and teens know about the dangers of prescription drug use.

“We need to create and promote public awareness of the extent of this problem in North Dakota,” Stenehjem said. “The problem is out of control. Illegal prescription medications are everywhere.”

Also speaking at the conference was Dan Pearson, who has become an advocate for stronger statewide prescription drug laws since the death of his son Justin in 2006. Justin Pearson had been in and out of one drug rehab program after another since an ATV accident and eventually succumbed to a prescription drug overdose.