Courtrooms at the Ward County Courthouse are busy places these days.
Attorneys, defendants, judges, witnesses, and - in some cases - jurors are hustling into and out of courtrooms all day every weekday.
And drug-related charges account for a majority of the cases.
State's Attorney Roza Larson says one of the biggest increases is in charges related to methamphetamines.
She says it's a trend that is troubling for the safety of the people in the region.
(Roza Larson, Ward County State's Attorney) "It used to be people would use because they're addicted or they started just for the high. Now, they're using it to stay awake and do their jobs and you see them doing that when they're working and it's a more dangerous situation than we had before because they're out there driving trucks and heavy equipment and you don't know what the status of their mental state is at the time."
Larson says laws have that make dealing drugs within one thousand feet of a school a Class Double-A Felony mean that a person convicted faces the same maximum - life in prison - as someone convicted of homicide.
She says she's noticing that more defendants in drug cases are from outside of North Dakota.