SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — South Dakota’s new anti-drug campaign "Meth We're On It" is drawing nationwide mockery for its slogan that seems to suggest the state is on meth, however police officers say the attention couldn’t have come at a better time. Local police departments, including at Watertown, are contending with a drug that is now more potent and cheaper, leading to a surge of use in the state and across the Midwest. The Drug Enforcement Administration is reporting an increase in the amount of meth seized in South Dakota this year. The drug is known for being highly addictive and police say it’s often tied to violent crime. Officers say preventing people from ever taking the highly addictive drug is essential to stopping the surge. Governor Kristi Noem is defending the new ad campaign stating that it’s doing what it’s supposed to do. She says that about 1.6 million people reported using meth in 2017 and that, In South Dakota alone, 12-17-year olds who have tried meth is two times the national average.
The Governor says that 83% of 2019 court admissions for controlled substances in the state were related to meth. Based on the most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health an estimated 0.88% of South Dakota’s population (7,600 of 868,799 residents) 12 and older used methamphetamine in the past year compared to 0.56% nationally. (National Methamphetamine Prevalence Data. Gov. Kristi Noem is spending $1.4 million on a campaign called, “Meth. We’re on it.”