Parental Substance Use as Child Abuse - North Dakota

Date:

Citation: Cent. Code § 50-25.1-16

Effective August 1, 2019: A mandatory reporter who has knowledge of or reasonable cause to suspect that a woman is pregnant and has used a controlled substance for a nonmedical purpose during the pregnancy shall report the circumstances to the Department of Human Services if the knowledge or suspicion is derived from information received by that individual in that individual's official or professional capacity. Any individual may make a voluntary report if the individual has knowledge of or reasonable cause to suspect that a woman is pregnant and has used a controlled substance for a nonmedical purpose during the pregnancy.

If a report alleges a pregnant woman's use of a controlled substance for a nonmedical purpose, the department or its designee shall immediately initiate an appropriate assessment and offer services indicated under the circumstances. Services offered may include a referral for an addiction assessment; a referral for substance use disorder treatment, if recommended; or a referral for prenatal care. The department or its designee may also take any appropriate action under chapter 25-03.1.

A report and assessment are not required if the pregnant woman voluntarily enters treatment in a licensed treatment program. If the pregnant woman does not complete voluntary treatment or fails to follow treatment recommendations, a mandatory reporter who has knowledge of the failure to complete voluntary treatment or failure to follow treatment recommendations shall make a report as required by this section. The report must be sufficient to identify the woman, the nature and extent of use, if known, and the name and address of the individual making the report.

Citation: Cent. Code § 19-03.1-22.2

Unless a greater penalty is otherwise provided by law, a person who knowingly or intentionally causes or permits a child or vulnerable adult to be exposed to, to ingest or inhale, or to have contact with a controlled substance, chemical substance, or drug paraphernalia is guilty of a class C felony.

Unless a greater penalty is otherwise provided by law, a person who violates the subsection above, and a child or vulnerable adult actually suffers bodily injury by exposure to, ingestion of, inhalation of, or contact with a controlled substance, chemical substance, or drug paraphernalia, is guilty of a class B felony. 

If the exposure, ingestion, inhalation, or contact results in the death of the child or vulnerable adult, the person is guilty of a class A felony.

Citation: Cent. Code § 27-20-02(3), (8) 

Effective January 1, 2020: 'Aggravated circumstances' means circumstances in which a parent does the following:

  • Fails to make substantial, meaningful efforts to secure treatment for the parent's addiction, mental illness, behavior disorder, or any combination of those conditions for a period equal to the lesser of 1 year or one-half of the child's lifetime, measured in days, as of the date a petition alleging aggravated circumstances is filed
  • Subjects the child to prenatal exposure to chronic or severe use of alcohol or any controlled substance in a manner not lawfully prescribed by a practitioner
  • Allows the child to be present in an environment subjecting the child to exposure to a controlled substance, chemical substance, or drug paraphernalia, as prohibited by § 19-03.1-22.2

The term 'deprived child' includes the following: 

  • A child who was subjected to prenatal exposure to chronic and severe use of alcohol or any controlled substance in a manner not lawfully prescribed by a practitioner
  • A child who is present in an environment subjecting the child to exposure to a controlled substance, chemical substance, or drug paraphernalia as prohibited by § 19-03.1-22.2