Dakota County is a county that is located in the eastern portion of the state of Minnesota. Home to an estimated population of more than 429,000 people as of 2019 according to the United States Census Bureau, Dakota County is one of the ten largest counties in Minnesota. But one of the problems with being so large is the risk of increased rates of drug abuse and overdose, something that the state of Minnesota has struggled with since America’s drug epidemic began in the early 2000s. From 2015 to 2017 there were 123 drug deaths in Dakota County according to a report published by County Health Rankings and Roadmaps, a total which shows exactly how many people are not getting the help they need when it comes to drug and alcohol rehabilitation and drug detox facilities. Every single drug death is a life that could have been saved if the person had gotten the right kind of help for their needs at the right time in their life. But these deaths are not necessarily a failure of the rehabilitation system, because many people who lose their lives to addiction never made it into treatment before the tragedy occurred. It is vital to understand why this happens so that we can do a better job of preventing it in the future and save more lives.
The biggest reason why people never get the help that they need is that they accidentally overdose before they were ever ready to receive help for their addiction. In early addiction, they are still experiencing many rewards from using drugs and have yet to experience any of the negative consequences that will surely ensue as they continue to use drugs. Rather than being a problem, drugs are viewed as a solution to a problem that the person has been struggling with for some time. This could be anything from physical pain to mental or emotional anguish, but whatever it is, the drugs give them relief. This is why they will go to such extreme lengths to hide their addiction from anyone who they believe may try to get them to stop or who would make it more difficult for them to obtain and use drugs. This is exactly why those who are the closest to them are usually the very last ones to know that they are on drugs.
It can seem impossible to help someone in early addiction, especially if you do not know that they are on drugs. Thankfully, this is not the case. There are nearly always signs of drug use and most people observe these but choose to ignore them. They do not want to believe what they know deep down. But it is vital that you confront them on these suspicions. They may become upset or lie, but they may also be honest with you and tell you what is going on with them. But you will not know if you do not try. No one wants to look back after tragedy and regret not doing everything possible to save a life.