Methamphetamine Use-South Dakota
In 2017, a total of 3,390 people were arrested on methamphetamine-related crimes in South Dakota compared to only 467 in 2002, an increase of 625% during those 15 years, according to a report from the Attorney General's office. Additional details about the current conversation around methamphetamine in South Dakota are presented below.
STATE OFFICIALS ATTITUDE TOWARDS METHAMPHETAMINE
- According to the Governor, Kristi Noem, who ascended into office in January, methamphetamine is an epidemic that should be dealt with and is among the top issues she would like to address during her time in office.
- The effect of methamphetamine can be seen everywhere, be it in families or the state itself. For instance, a child died due to starvation because the parents were under the influence of methamphetamine. Kids also go hungry in their homes as their parents are under the influence of the drug. The governor also opened up that South Dakota prisons and judicial courts were all filled with cases related to the usage of the drug.
- The Governor also gave views that she thought could help in the prevention and treatment of the epidermic such as safeguarding, the southern border since much of the drug was coming from Mexico. She also felt that additional mental services and rehabilitation centers would be helpful as is educating individuals on the effect of the drugs and how to avoid it.
STEPS THE STATE IS TAKING TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEM
- The Attorney General of South Dakota, Marty Jackley, had proposed a bill to the Senate to strengthen the sentences for distribution and manufacture of methamphetamine in South Dakota.
- The senate judiciary successfully passed the law in 2018, and the Attorney General congratulated the Senate for taking such a bold step since the methamphetamine epidemic was directly affecting South Dakota and hurting its families and communities.
- Senate Bill 63 passed with a mandate to increase the penalty for the distribution and manufacturing of 5 grams or more of methamphetamine that includes minors and provide a mandatory state penitentiary sentence for the delivery and manufacture of methamphetamine.
- Although the state was recently awarded $1 million in federal funds to combat meth trafficking, Colhoff-Glove believes it's more effective to bring the fight right to young people.
ATTITUDES OF RESIDENTS TOWARDS METHAMPHETAMINES
- According to Peratt, now 60 methamphetamine condition can be controlled and healed. One lady who was an addict and has been sober since 1986 shared her regrets and guilt in life as she noted that her daughter is currently blind due to her usage of the drug that affected the baby while she was pregnant. The woman is currently a counselor at Keystone Treatment Center in Sioux Falls.
- Peratt links the usage of methamphetamine to social ills that were done to her. She also opens up how her family suffered due to her usage of the drug as her son was also mistreated and raped by another boy due to her usage of the drug as she was not there to help the son.
- The use of methamphetamine has brought about pain between families as families are separated and kids grow without interacting with their parents. This initiated children to have a negative attitude towards the parents.
INMATES ATTITUDE TOWARDS METHAMPHETAMINES
- A report states that almost 64% of women in prison, a 30% increase in five years, are there because of drug charges; most of those are related to methamphetamine.
- The inmates have formed Sober is Sacred, a native American-driven support organization aimed at raising awareness on the impacts of meth and the need for treatment at the female state facility in South Dakota. The idea came from a few women who thought they were not doing enough to curb the epidemic.
- Sober is Sacred organized two anti-meth rallies that featured inspirational speakers and performers at the women's prison within the last year. The women are devoted to change and have reported the effects of the drug.
- Frazier, an inmate, although not a victim of methamphetamine is considered a mentor by women in prison—as she has been in jail for a while and has seen more women coming in and out of jail due to the epidermic.
- The inmates have plans to take Sober is Sacred to the streets when they are released from prison, and they return to their families.
PREVALENCE OF USAGE OF THE DRUG
- In 2017, a total of 3,390 people were arrested on meth-related crimes in South Dakota compared to only 467 in 2002, an increase of 625% during those 15 years, this according to a report from the Attorney General's office.
- According to the Department of Social Services (to the Legislative interim subgroup which studies methamphetamine addiction) 7,600 South Dakotans age 12 and up used methamphetamine in the past year. That's about 0.88% of the entire population of people in South Dakota.
- The national usage of the drug is about 0.58%. That can be related to 57% more methamphetamine users in South Dakotans than in America in general.
- According to the Department of Corrections, the number of inmates in jail for drug crimes has risen from 18% in December 2010 to 32% in December 2018.
- Usage of the drug starts at an early age and statistics show that once one uses it, an individual can be hooked.
- In South Dakota, the first six months of 2019 saw 78 pounds of meth seized. During the first six months of 2018, 50 pounds were seized, with the entire year totaling 66 pounds.
- According to a conversation done in South Dakota schools, kids are aware of the drug and can access the drug but chances are adults interact with the drug even more.
THE EFFECT OF THE DRUG
- There is an increase in overall criminal activities in South Dakota.
- Meth has also contributed to the disruption of families as they are separated when an individual is imprisoned for the usage of the drug.
- There have also been deaths of very young children as they are often left to starve by their parents who are always under the influence of the drug.
- The under-performance of workers or absenteeism of workers which leads to low GDP of the country.