Senator Heidi Heitkamp says opioid abuse is a public health crisis and a national epidemic.
That’s why she held a panel discussion in Minot today on the issue – where a local man shared his story about the effects of drug abuse.
(Paul Stroklund/Minot) “I have a daughter that’s 26 years old, four sons, and they live with me and I have to help raise them.”
That’s Paul Stroklund, a Minot man who said his daughter’s fight against opioid addiction has been a long, hard battle.
(Stroklund) “She’s been in the ER she’s been arrested, has a felony on her for drug paraphernalia. When you first think about it, it’s denial.”
(Stroklund) The denial came to a head one night.
She was out of it, didn’t know what she was whacked out on and I was mad.
I went into her room and threw her mattress up.
I found 63 used syringes between her mattress and box spring. My grandkids had slept in that room. So that was the end of that.”
That’s when he realized it would take a lot more than that.
Stroklund said his daughter has been in and out of multiple recovery centers, but for funding or insurance reasons, she wasn’t able to get the help she needs.
That’s why he shares their story – because addiction can hurt anyone, no matter who they are.
(Stroklund) “I’ve been to treatment centers for family day and you would not believe, city council members, state legislators, addicted to opiates.
My daughter, she went to the doctor for ovian cyst, gave her 30 days oxycodone.
The rest of the story six years later. Six years we’ve been going through this and knock on wood she’s still alive today.”
(Senator Heidi Heitkamp/(D) North Dakota) “This is literally killing people in our communities. It’s killing people across the country. It is a public health and a national epidemic, it’s a public health crisis and a national epidemic.”
Today’s discussion was part of Senator Heitkamp’s listening series profiling addiction as a disease.
The Minot area recently opened an opioid treatment program – to learn more about their services click here.