Prescription Drug Treatment in South Dakota

Created On Thursday, 02, March 2017
Modified On Friday, 10, September 2021


Prescription drugs are a major issue in South Dakota, along with the rest of the US. Prescription drugs are medications that have been controlled because they're potentially unsafe and easily misused. In many cases, they can cause addiction and dependence, with overdose frequently being the end result. While not all prescription drugs can cause addiction or are regularly misused, the few that are comprise a large portion of drugs responsible for the drug epidemic in America. South Dakota prescription drug treatment services are relied upon to help residents of the state who've become addicted to these dangerous substances.

Virtually anyone can become addicted to prescription drugs. They are extremely powerful chemicals that doctors usually give to patients who mistakenly believe they are safe. Many people who become addicted to prescription drugs begin by receiving them from their doctor for a medical or psychological ailment. They may be very effective at first, but soon, addictive prescription drugs begin to not work as well at the same dose. The person discovers that in order to achieve the same effects they initially did from a low dose of the drug, they must take a higher dose. This phenomenon is known as tolerance and is the body's response to the drug's continual presence in its system. Tolerance creates dependence, and South Dakota prescription drug detox is usually the answer to help people prepare for treatment.

Dependence and tolerance go hand-in-hand. As the person consumes the drug regularly, their body attempts to protect itself from the harmful effects. The reason why prescription drugs work is because they disrupt the delicate chemical balance of the body, known as homeostasis. This disruption is responsible for the effects of the drug since the person is now in an altered chemical state. As the drugs leave the system, functioning returns to normal.

But when a person repeatedly ingests the same substance regularly, it becomes more common to have the drug in the system than to not. As a response, the body adjusts its normal balance to account for the drug, so it doesn't have to identify it from scratch each time and mount a new response. While this serves to protect the body, it causes harm to the individual by developing dependence.

Dependence means that the body needs the drug to function normally. Without it, the new balance will be disrupted, and the person will feel ill and crave the drug. If they run out or stop taking the substance that they've become dependent on, they will experience withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal is a process the body undergoes when a person stops taking a drug that they've become dependent on. Symptoms vary depending on the substance abused but are always uncomfortable and sometimes life-threatening. They can include anything from insomnia and pain to seizures and vomiting. The longer and more heavily the person has misused the prescription drug, the more likely they will begin to experience severe withdrawal symptoms. South Dakota prescription drug detoxes help people overcome withdrawal symptoms. A detox is a facility that specializes in helping people come off drugs and is the first step for people struggling with dependence.

Detox is short for detoxification, which is the process of ridding the body of foreign chemicals. The body does this naturally so long as the person abstains from using the type of prescription drug that they've become dependent on. But detoxes help people through this process because doing it on one's own can be unsafe and often ineffective. Some detoxes are medical detoxes, meaning they have the capability to use medications to help people detox where it may be unsafe to do so without oversight. Medical detoxes can use prescription medications to alleviate or prevent symptoms that would be too extreme or dangerous to endure independently. These medications are frequently narcotic, so they must be used carefully to not further addiction and dependence. The idea is usually to taper the person down to a level where they can safely stop taking the medication without experiencing much risk or severity of symptoms.

Whenever prescription drugs are used in a treatment setting, they must be discontinued before the person is discharged. Preferably, they should be given several days to adjust to not using a substance to cope with life so that when they are discharged, they have a foundation of success. Otherwise, when these medications are abruptly discontinued and the person discharged, they can begin to have cravings or rebound withdrawal symptoms that lead them to take drugs. It is vital to understand that detoxes are not rehabilitation. While they help the person get clean, they do nothing to address the factors that led the person into addiction and still exist unaddressed. They simply prepare the person for rehabilitation by getting them through withdrawal. This way, they feel well enough to gain something from the treatment process. If the person is experiencing intense withdrawal symptoms, they won't be able to focus or retain anything of value from rehabilitation.

Once detox is complete, it is time to begin treatment. This transition should be as direct and swift as possible to avoid relapse during the intervening time. Sadly, many people trick themselves into believing that the only problem they have is dependence. They believe that if they could just stop taking the drugs and get through withdrawal, everything will be fine. Unfortunately, this "quick-fix" approach is deceptive. Without addressing the underlying reasons why the person continually turns to substances to cope with life, it's very likely they'll continue this pattern. Lacking any new coping skills, the person may turn back to drugs to deal with life when things get difficult—most people who attend detox and don't follow it up immediately with treatment relapse rapidly.

Treatment should ideally be selected prior to entering detox. This eliminates stress during detox, which is already a trying time and helps prevent the person from changing their mind and backing out when they start to feel better near the end of the detox. When selecting treatment, avoid programs that don't believe that people can completely recover from addiction. This will be evident by their use of narcotic replacement drugs during and after treatment. Many newer programs are only concerned with lowering overdose death statistics, so they place little value on quality of life beyond surviving addiction. But a person doesn't need to surrender to taking substitute drugs their whole life to avoid withdrawal. There are many programs that successfully help people overcome prescription drug addiction every day.

Traditional substance abuse treatment programs are among the most longstanding and effective forms of drug rehabilitation in South Dakota. Traditional programs are usually based on the twelve-step model developed by Alcoholics Anonymous many years ago. The programs have gone on to save countless lives over the decades. Traditional programs are usually around 28 days in length and inpatient, meaning the person lives and stays there for the duration of their treatment.

Another excellent choice for treating prescription drug addiction is holistic drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Holistic programs are unique in that they don't use any unnecessary medications and no narcotics during treatment. They rely on natural methods of easing symptoms and repairing the damage done by using prescription drugs. This has a unique effect of boosting long-term recovery rates because the person rapidly develops new coping skills to use instead of resorting to substance abuse. These programs are lengthier than many other models because of the amount of time spent counseling the individual, but the results can certainly make it a worthwhile investment.

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South Dakota Prescription Drug Possession Penalties

The laws are very straightforward and harsh in South Dakota about illegal prescription drug possession. Rather than taking an approach of helping those who struggle with addiction, South Dakota laws still very much reflect a "war on drugs" mentality. Sadly, this has proven to be a losing battle that fills the prison system with nonviolent offenders who need rehabilitation more than incarceration.

In South Dakota, it is a Class 4 felony to possess any prescription drug without a valid medical prescription. Anyone guilty of violating this law is subject to a fine of up to $20,000, as many as ten years in prison, or both. Because of this, it is far better to reach out for help if you're struggling with prescription drug addiction in South Dakota than to end up getting arrested for possession. The consequences can be life-shattering when the person could have otherwise attended rehabilitation and gotten back on track.

South Dakota Prescription Drug Statistics

In 2018, half of all drug overdose deaths in South Dakota involved opioids. This was a total of 28 fatalities.

  • Overdose deaths involving specific opioids like prescription drugs are not available for the state because it did not meet inclusion criteria.

South Dakota providers wrote 42.6 opioid prescriptions for every 100 persons in 2017, compared to the average US rate of 51.4 prescriptions for every 100 persons.  

Below, you will find a list of drug detox for Prescribed Medication addiction in South Dakota. The list may be incomplete, so if you have a hard time finding the proper service, call one of our treatment specialists at 1-800-304-2219.

List of Detox for Prescription Drug Abuse in South Dakota


Marcel Gemme, DATS - Author

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Marcel Gemme has been helping people struggling with addiction for over 19 years. He first started as an intake counselor for a drug rehabilitation center in 2000. During his 5 years as an intake counselor, he helped many addicts get the treatment they needed. He also dealt with the families and friends of those people; he saw first-hand how much strain addiction puts on a family and how it can tear relationships apart. With drug and alcohol problems constantly on the rise in the United States and Canada, he decided to use the Internet as a way to educate and help many more people in both those countries. This was 15 years ago. Since then, Marcel has built two of the largest websites in the U.S. and Canada which reach and help millions of people each year. He is an author and a leader in the field of drug and alcohol addiction. His main focus is threefold: education, prevention and rehabilitation. To this day, he still strives to be at the forefront of technology in order to help more and more people. He is a Licensed Drug and Alcohol Treatment Specialist graduate with Honours of Stratford Career Institute. Marcel has also received a certificate from Harvard for completing a course entitled The Opioid Crisis in America and a certificate from The University of Adelaide for completing a course entitled AddictionX: Managing Addiction: A Framework for Succesful Treatment.