North Dakotans living in rural areas who struggle with substance abuse will soon have treatment options closer to home with the help of additional funding passed by the legislature.

In 2019, $2 million was allocated by the state for funding to help build two new treatment centers.

At November’s special session, an additional $3 million was appropriated to build up to four new centers.

These centers aim to provide short-term residential services for adults with a substance use disorder, including alcohol abuse, which ranks among the top abused substances in the state.

Pamela Sagness, the Director of Behavioral Health Services division at the Department of Human Services, said, “Whenever people have to travel 100, or 200 miles to get services it’s just a real barrier. And so however we can get services into rural areas, that’s really the key focus of this grant. It’s to start new programs where they don’t exist so people are able to get services closer to home.”

Substance use disorder vouchers are available to those who are uninsured or underinsured, and they are encouraged to apply to join the nearly 4,800 North Dakotans already approved for the voucher.