PIERRE, S.D.– There is a meth problem in South Dakota, and we need everyone on it.
Monday, the State of South Dakota launched a statewide campaign to tackle the methamphetamine epidemic. The “Meth. We’re On It.” campaign aims to bring awareness to those who need help and friends and family of those who need help, while connecting community members who want to combat the issue locally.
“South Dakota’s meth crisis is growing at an alarming rate,” said South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem. “It impacts every community in our state and threatens the success of the next generation. It is filling our jails and prisons, clogging our court systems, and stretching our drug treatment capacity while destroying people and their families. This is our problem, and together, we need to get on it.”
To combat the issue from a law enforcement standpoint, the state has implemented meth task forces in Sioux Falls and Pennington County. These two areas accounted for the majority of the state’s 2,242 arrests in the first eight months of 2019. Additionally, Gov. Noem’s FY20 budget request included more than $1 million in funding to support meth treatment services and more than $730,000 for school-based meth prevention programming.
Prevention resources are a critical component of the mission as twice as many South Dakota 12-17 year-olds report using meth in the past year than the national average, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The “Meth. We’re On It.” campaign includes materials to aid educators and parents in youth engagement, equipping them with prevention tactics and other materials, while also encouraging them to join the movement.
“The campaign is inclusive and empowering and establishes a movement for all South Dakotans to take an active role in keeping our state a great place to live,” explained Laurie Gill, South Dakota Secretary of the Department of Social Services. “We’re encouraging everyone to work together to eliminate meth.”
Community members are encouraged to take action in their local areas and to have discussions, offer support and resources to those they may know struggling with meth, coordinate volunteer efforts to support partner organizations, and advocate for prevention programs.
The campaign includes state-wide advertising support through TV commercials, radio ads, billboards and social media. The comprehensive website, OnMeth.com, is a source for finding local resources targeting those who want to help the cause or need assistance in recovering from meth addiction. The impactful visuals of real South Dakotans simply but powerfully tell the story that meth is everyone’s problem, and that communities can band together to end its use in South Dakota.
“With about 83% of South Dakota’s 2019 court admissions for controlled substances being methamphetamine-related, it’s evident there’s a need for an aggressive approach to reduce use of the devastating drug. This is a movement to educate South Dakotans on the signs of addiction, the treatment resources that are available, and how to implement prevention techniques in their homes and among their communities,” concluded Gill.
For help with meth addiction, call 1-800-920-4343 or text “onmeth” to 898211, or visit OnMeth.com for a list of available resources and local treatment centers.