BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — Opioid abuse continues to be a problem in the US, and that includes North Dakota.

The Department of Health’s Violent Death Reporting System says more than 100 people died from overdoses in North Dakota in 2020.

One mother in Bismarck says she needed help getting off pain pills. And she found it at a new treatment center in Bismarck.

“The pain was so bad, I just wanted, for now, just help me for now,” Bismarck resident Pam Emmil said.

Pam Emmil says she never envisioned her life would nearly spin out of control. But more than a half dozen surgeries over the last 10 years meant doctors prescribed her a series of pain medications.

“Anything from Hydrocodone to Dilaudid, through Morphine,” she said.

She didn’t notice she had a problem until doctors told her she couldn’t have anymore. Until one day, her doctor started an online search of treatment centers around Bismarck.

“I called all of those places, the local ones, and they were all booked. I couldn’t get in,” Emmil added.

A few years ago, Emmil found out about Ideal Option, a recently opened treatment center, and Emmil was their first patient.

“They do about a two-hour intake with you. They really listen to you, they want to hear what you’re going through. And then if they feel you’re a candidate, they prescribe medication,” Emmil said.

Pam told us she’s been coming to Ideal Option for about four years. She has a monthly appointment and now takes Suboxone instead. Other than that, she says she’s cold turkey. No drinking and no other medications.

“Of course I have pain, everybody has pain. We’re aging,” she said.

Emmil says she’s able to exercise, stretch and manage her pain. But it’s pain she says she can live with. And she urges others who are struggling to ask for help.