Drugs and the Oil Boom

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As the oil industry booms in North Dakota, an influx of modern-day gold rushers bring crime along with them. Many counties in the state are experiencing a steep increase in illegal activity. With the increase in population and money, drug dealers from neighboring states are moving in. Officers have also reported that cartels from Mexico are finding new homes in the area. Along with the drug trafficking, there’s been an increase in violent crimes.

As the population skyrocketed, Purdon noticed a seemingly inevitable consequence: more people, more crime.

Drugs are nothing new in North Dakota. Methamphetamine had been a problem in the past but local law enforcement and recent legislation reduced the problem. This lull in methamphetamine dealing and use has come to an end as oil boom towns seem to breed more meth abuse. 

Previously, most meth operations were small-time mom-and-pop operations. They’ve been replaced by organized crime groups that bring methamphetamine across the border from Mexico where ”superlabs” produce many pounds of the drug each day. 

Heroin use has also been climbing. Drug deals are carried out over the phone and behind closed doors, making it hard for officers to identify and arrest dealers. 

It is important that the people of North Dakota learn about drug abuse and addiction and educate their loved ones about the dangers. Studies have shown that drug education is an important part of preventing this problem.

Signs of Methamphetamine use:

  • Pick marks on face or body
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Unusually active for many hours or days at a time
  • Nervous and anxious
  • Paranoid
  • Not sleeping for long periods


Signs of Heroin use:


  • Needle marks on arms, legs, hands or feet
  • Neglect of personal appearance
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Sleepiness or nodding off
  • Flushed skin
  • Runny or itchy nose


One or more of these signs may mean your loved one is using an illicit drug. If this happens, please contact us so we can assist you. We also offer free drug education materials on the signs and symptoms of all drugs.