New South Dakota Anti-Meth Campaign: “Meth, We’re on it.”
PIERRE, S.D.-The meth epidemic continues to grip South Dakota. So state officials are turning to your radio, tv and social media to try to fight it. They say they’re taking an “aggressive approach” with a new anti-meth campaign.
The South Dakota Department of Social Services has launched a new campaign called “Meth. We’re on it.” The campaign is meant to get everyone involved in tackling the meth problem.
“It affects all communities, all age groups, families, schools, court systems, jails. It affects everything,” said Laurie Gills, Secretary of the Department of Social Services.
“This is all of our problem and together we need to get on it.”
Between January and August of this year, there were 2,242 meth-related arrests in South Dakota. The goal of the campaign is to educate South Dakotans on the signs of addiction, the treatment resources available, and how people can implement prevention techniques in their homes and communities.
“We are trying to hit different modalities, so that we’re hitting different age groups and people where they’re at, so we’re going to hit it hard,” said Gills.
A big part of the campaign includes prevention resources for schools and parents.
“Youth are going to be placed in a lot of different situations, where they are going to have drugs put in front of them,” said Gill.
Twice as many South Dakota kids 12 to 17 years old report using meth in the past year than the national average, according to the National Survey On Drug Use and Health.
“We can raise the awareness for kids as they’re faced with very difficult decisions that are going to be put in front of them as they grow up in our state,” said Gill.
Officials also launched a new website called onmeth.com. It has resources for those struggling and for those who want to help.
A marketing and advertising agency in Minneapolis called Broadhead Corporation created the “Meth. We’re on it.” campaign. According to their contract, the South Dakota Department Of Social Services will spend no more than $1.3 million dollars on this campaign.
The campaign has been met with some backlash on social media. At one point Monday “South Dakota” was the number two trending topic in the U.S. on Twitter. “Meth” was 12th and the phrase “we’re on it” was 15th. The majority of the mentions of the campaign have been satirical or poked fun at the name.
Governor Noem is pushing back on Twitter with multiple posts, saying “Hey Twitter, the whole point of this ad campaign is to raise awareness. So I think that’s working…” She later took a more serious tone, saying “Twitter can make a joke of it, but when it comes down to it, Meth is a serious problem in SD. We are here to Get. It. OUT.”