South Dakota has started a new anti-methamphetamine campaign, with the slogan “Meth. We’re on it.”
When the state first announced this new campaign with its strange slogan, the internet had a field day, mocking the state and claiming that the anti-meth campaign did not seem to be anti-meth at all. However, health experts and government officials in South Dakota say that meth is ravaging their state and Gov. Kristi Noem tweeted out, “Meth is an epidemic in our state, and we ALL need to pay attention.” In South Dakota 83% of court admissions for controlled substances this year involved meth. An even scarier statistic is that between 2014-2018 there was a 200% increase in people looking for treatment for their meth addiction. Officer Brendyn Medina of Rapid City police said, “It’s probably the number one public safety epidemic facing the city, the state, and much of the midwest.” It’s been filling up the jails, keeping court schedules packed, and stretching drug treatment facilities to capacity.
Not everyone realizes the impact of this drug, therefore there aren’t enough funds to tackle this problem. That’s why South Dakota decided to create a slogan that seemed contradictory. They needed to bring awareness to this enormous problem that is destroying families, by admitting there is an epidemic and it needs to be solved. Drug arrests in Rapid City, a city of 75,000 people, were at an all-time high in 2018, with 1,546.
A reason behind their strange slogan was to get people talking and knowing about what is going on in their backyard. The state said they’re trying to launch a middle school education program. University researchers are developing drug monitoring program that will provide clearer data about where drugs are being used and where resources are needed.