Dickinson Sees Increase in Overdoses, Shortage of Treatment Facilities

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It is a problem that Dickinson Police have seen, but never in this number.

"Four overdoses in a week is a concern," said David Wallace, a sergeant with the Dickinson Police Department.

Last week, city police, with the help of medical services, responded to two instances of heroin overdose. On Wednesday, three people were found unresponsive, and last Saturday, an individual was found acting bizarre.

"It becomes imperative for us to find out where this is coming from, whose involved," said Wallace.

Wallace says one concern today is the growing availability of the narcotic that has also drastically dropped the price.

"When the oil was booming in Dickinson we had some of the highest priced heroin, heroin out here that was going for $700 a gram," he said.

Today, that number is much lower. But Wallace adds that of even greater concern is the shortage of treatment facilities.

"The western part of the state resources are strained," says Joanna Smith, assistant regional director of the Badlands Human Service Center.

Smith adds that centers across the state recognize the need for more help, and are looking for solutions.

"A license addiction counselor in another center can provide an addiction evaluation via television," Smith says is one solution.

She hopes that through this method the center will be able to provide more addiction evaluations and help more people.