Methamphetamine Use in the Great Plains

Part
01
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Part
01

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.

Part
02
of seven
Part
02

Methamphetamine Use-North Dakota

Methamphetamine is a highly addictive stimulant drug, also known as meth, whose usage had been depressed over time but has come again in the US especially in the Northern part of the Dakota state. Abuse of the drug jeopardizes the proper functioning of the central nervous system. A more in-depth explanation about the current state of the drug in the Northern part of the Dakota state is explained further below.

1. THE PREVALENCE OF USAGE

  • Meth induces talkativeness in the user and the false sense of pleasure and well-being.
  • It also increases activity to the user, hence, attentiveness.
  • According to the report of the area’s Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), its addictiveness is so high and has seen to the rise of the usage of the drug in North Dakota.
  • According to DEA’s report, meth threatens to be the most abused drug very recently in the US staging from the Western part of the North Dakota state.
  • DEA saw a huge increase in methamphetamine seizures in 2018 in North Dakota as it became more accessible in the region.
  • North Dakota’s Attorney General also confirmed the high usage of meth in the region by claiming that both the state and the local agencies are experiencing the same number of drug seizures from the entire area.
  • This is a clear indication of a high prevalence of drug use in the whole region of North Dakota.
  • The unbecoming rate of meth abuse can be attributed to the fact that the immigrants to the region have brought back the meth trend.
  • This is also backed up by the fact that these people have the money to finance for the drug.
  • It has actually been confirmed that the usage rate of the drug has risen ten times in only five years.

2. ATTITUDES OF RESIDENTS ABOUT THE DRUG/DRUG USE

RESIDENTS LOVE METH
  • According to Morton county sheriff, the usage of the drug has been getting more and more serious since 2010.
  • DEA also reported that meth abuse has recorded a 31% increase only in 2019 with meth seizures of about 1,500 pounds, estimated at $9 million.
  • This is a clear indication that the people of North Dakota state love the effects of the drug and are addicted to it.
  • DEA emphasizes the love for meth which people have by reporting that many of the home burglaries, the aggravated assaults, and many other theft cases are stemming from the quest for the drug methamphetamine.

3. ATTITUDES OF THE STATE OFFICIALS AND LAWMAKERS ABOUT THE DRUG/DRUG USE

STATE OFFICIALS ARE AGAINST METH ABUSE
  • DEA reports that many seizures have been made in the Burleigh, Cass, and Williams counties.
  • DEA confirmed that the officers have seized over 62 pounds in 2018 only and this implies a 62% increase in the seizures over 2017.
  • Officers have also seized weapons from meth traffickers since the traffickers were getting more sophisticated and hard to handle.
  • All these actions of the DEA’s and the Attorney General’s offices show how the state officials are against the drug and its abuse. Therefore, they are working hard to eliminate it from the streets of the state’s towns.

4. STEPS THE STATE IS TAKING TO DEAL WITH THE ISSUE

SEIZURE OF THE DRUG
  • From the preceding, it has been seen that the office of the DEA and the Attorney General specifically focus on meth traffickers.
  • They have assigned patrolling officers in the affected and suspected regions.
  • This has been confirmed by over 2,000% increase in the seizure of the drug from the users and the traffickers.

SEIZURE OF WEAPONS
  • Drug traffickers are deemed to thrive more when they own weapons as the weapons make them more lethal and even dangerous to law enforcement officers.
  • Seizure of weapons such as guns from the population by the DEA’s office is a very brilliant strategy to fight the abuse of meth.
ESTABLISHMENT OF REHABILITATION AND TREATMENT CENTERS
  • Due to the increased number of people in the region struggling with the addiction of the drug, the government has come up with rehabilitation centers for the treatment of the affected people and to keep them away from the dangers of the drug.
Part
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of seven
Part
03

Methamphetamine Use-Minnesota

According to the Department of Public Safety, from 2009 to 2016, Minnesota has experienced a 489% increase in methamphetamine seizures. Complete details pertaining to the current conversation around methamphetamine use in Minnesota are presented below.

The prevalence of usage

  • Figures from law enforcement and addiction treatment specialists show that methamphetamine remains the most commonly used hard drug in the region. Minnesota has experienced a 489% increase from 2009 to 2016 in meth seizures, according to the Department of Public Safety; while 2009 marked a low point in levels for people seeking treatment, methamphetamine arrests and seizures have dramatically increased as well.
  • “Methamphetamine-related treatment admissions accounted for 13.1% of total admissions, exceeding the number of admissions at the height of the statewide epidemic in 2005,” law enforcement found. "Methamphetamine was reported in 35% of all drug items seized by law enforcement in the 7-county metro area in 2015, and seizures statewide remained at heightened levels," the report continued.
  • Roughly, 10,000 meth users died in the United States in 2017, an increase of more than a third compared with 2016, and triple the number of deaths in 2012.
  • The Minnesota Department of Public Safety announced the seizure of 487.7 pounds of meth in 2016, more than double the 230.3 pounds seized in 2015. In 2012, just 112.6 pounds of meth were confiscated by law enforcement in Minnesota.
  • Law enforcement seized nearly 1,150 pounds of meth in 2018, a total that tops the previous two years combined and is more than five times the amount in 2014, according to data released last week by the state Department of Public Safety (DPS). The upward climb of meth seizures in Minnesota signals an increased demand for the drug among addicts and follows the trend nationally, the DPS said.
  • The production of meth in labs in Minnesota has fallen off dramatically since their height of popularity in 2003 when 410 labs were seized by law enforcement, the state agency said. There were fewer than 30 seized in the state in 2018, the ninth straight for the total being below that number.

Attitudes of residents about the drug/drug usage

  • Kristen Philman, a resident of Littleton, Colorado, first tried methamphetamine in her early 20s, as an alternative to heroin and other opioids. When she discovered she was pregnant, she says, it was a wake-up call, and she did what she needed to do to stop using all those drugs. Philman had already been using heroin and prescription painkillers for several years when, one day in 2014, a relative offered her some methamphetamine because she had run out of heroin. Philman said, "I thought, 'Oh this might make me feel better.'"
  • Dr. Lindsay Admon, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Michigan says, "We think our findings nearly entirely represent illicit methamphetamine use." Dr. Tricia E. Wright, an OB-GYN and associate professor at the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine says, "I had a recent maternal death from methamphetamine use."
  • National attention tended to turn away from methamphetamine in the late 2000s because meth use was thought to be on the decline, says Dr. Mishka Terplan, an OB-GYN and an addiction specialist at Virginia Commonwealth University. But healthcare providers working in rural areas in certain regions of the country never really saw the drugs go away, he says. "And many [providers] have been noting an increase in amphetamine and methamphetamine use in general, as well as amongst pregnant women," adds Terplan.
  • "Over half of our patients that are being treated for opioid use disorders also have stimulant use disorders—meaning that they're taking methamphetamine regularly," says Dr. Amanda Risser, a family medicine physician at the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, who runs a program called Project Nurture for pregnant women with substance use disorders.
  • Dr. Tyler Winkelman, a physician, and researcher at Hennepin Healthcare said the "'unintended consequences of getting rid of local meth labs with the crackdown on Sudafed"— the over-the-counter product that provides a key ingredient for making meth—is 'that opened up the meth cartels from Mexico.'"

Attitudes of state officials and lawmakers about the drug/drug usage

  • "People were aware of the dangers of the use of methamphetamine," Brian Marquart, statewide gang and drug coordinator for the Department of Public Safety told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "For a variety of reasons, we’ve had other drugs, whether it be synthetics, whether it be heroin, whether it be opiates, come to the forefront, that I think some of that [anti-methamphetamine] messaging has not been heard as loud as it should, methamphetamine is bad."
  • Law enforcement officials say methamphetamine currently flowing into the Upper Midwest comes largely from Mexican cartels. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Gang and Drug Coordinator, Marquart said that around 2007, cartels figured out a way to mass-produce high-quality methamphetamine. That accounts for some of "the massive influx of methamphetamine we’re seeing across the country, including in North Dakota and Minnesota."
  • "Methamphetamine crosses all socioeconomic boundaries," Marquart said. Meth at the street level is typically purchased in grams, with dosage rates at about one-tenth of a gram. Marquart said "a gram in Minnesota costs about $100. For wholesalers of the drug, the price has dropped considerably, opening up the potential for even greater profits.... It is everywhere," Marquart said. "It is in small, rural towns to the large metropolitan areas."
  • Bulk methamphetamine that comes into Minnesota largely comes from Mexico through the southwest border. The drug is transported by Mexican drug cartels in commercial and personal vehicles, Marquart said. From the Twin Cities, the drug is distributed throughout the state and into neighboring states. "We continue to work with our partners for treatment and education," Marquart said. "We can’t do this alone. We need the public’s help."
  • "What we are seeing in the data is alarming," Minnesota Department of Human Services Commissioner, Emily Piper, said in a release. "Methamphetamine use is now second only to alcohol for treatment admissions in Minnesota. The good news is treatment works. By strengthening and improving our treatment system, more people will get the help they need when they need it."
  • Claire Wilson, Deputy Commissioner with the state Department of Human Services (DHS) stated, "I believe that we are in a crisis."
  • More than 2 tons of meth was confiscated in 2018 in Minnesota and ~900 pounds of that came from federal investigations, with 2019 seizures aiming to be higher, said Kenneth Solek, assistant special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Minneapolis division.
  • "'The DEA takes the trafficking of methamphetamine in Minnesota very seriously,'" said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Kent Bailey in a statement after the raid."

Steps the state is taking to deal with the issue

  • In 2005 and 2006, new state and federal laws made it a lot harder to manufacture meth in large quantities by restricting the sale of cold medicines used to make it. Such products could no longer be sold over the counter, and the amount consumers may buy is now subject to daily and monthly restrictions.
  • The amount of methamphetamine seized by Violent Crime Enforcement Teams in Minnesota dropped off after new laws made it more difficult to obtain materials to make the drug, but has increased in recent years. Meth seizures, in pounds, doubled between 2015 and 2016 and are on track to increase again in 2017.
  • The manufacture and use of methamphetamine are so prevalent in Minnesota that the legislature felt the need to enact laws regarding the disclosure of known meth manufacturing sites.
    • According to state law, "the sellers of a property are required to disclose the fact that a property was used for methamphetamine manufacture if the sellers know about this activity. This disclosure is required both in the case of a declared or undeclared meth labs. "Along with that disclosure statement, the seller must inform the buyer of the following: (1) Whether local authority issued an order on the property that it must be properly remediated before it could be occupied; (2) Whether any orders issued were vacated upon completion of remediation; (3) If there was no order issued, but the seller is aware that meth lab activity occurred, they must indicate the status of removal and remediation on the property.
    • However, in Minnesota, it is legal to sell a property without a disclosure if a waiver is agreed upon by both buyer and seller. This is common practice for foreclosures and rental properties where the owner has not lived in the property for the past year.
  • The Methamphetamine Laboratory Program at the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) works to protect human health by providing information about the hazards of meth exposure to property owners, renters, buyers, and sellers. Additionally, the program provides technical advice on the remediation (cleaning) of clandestine methamphetamine production laboratories (meth labs) and decontamination of property exposed to meth lab activities.
  • Wilson, of the Department of Human Services, says she hopes reforms passed this legislative session to expand the breadth of treatment in the state will help reduce the human toll of substance abuse.
  • The goal of the reforms is to shift the focus from episodic care — identifying the problem, accessing treatment and undergoing it and being done — to treating addiction “more like the disease that it is,” she said, the hope is that a broader continuum of services, before and after treatment, will better support people in kicking addiction.

Other Helpful Findings

  • User-quantity level methamphetamine now ranges from 70% to 80% pure, Marquart said. In the early 2000s when local small-batch meth labs were more common, the quality of the product was high, but the quantity was relatively low. "'Now we are seeing very high quality, into the 80th percentile at the user level,' he said."
  • "'A few years ago, a large seizure coming into this state would have been 3 to 5 pounds,' Marquart said. 'Now we are seeing seizures of 30, 50, 70, even 100 pounds of methamphetamine either coming into this state or bound for Minnesota and North Dakota.'"
Part
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Part
04

Methamphetamine Use-Nebraska

Current conversations highlight the recent surge in meth overdose cases in Nebraska despite the state registering the lowest levels in the United States as of 2016. Nebraska state officials consider meth to be the number one threat in the state. Nebraska residents are helping police in investigations and the state of Nebraska has taken various steps to deal with the meth issue such as setting up of dedicated task forces.

FINDINGS

Conversations Around Meth in Nebraska

  • Conservative Review highlights the recent surge in meth overdose cases in Nebraska despite the state registering the lowest levels in the United States as of 2016. This is considered alarming especially because meth and overall drug deaths declined or remained stagnant in Nebraska between 2013 and 2016 while the rest of the country experienced a surge.
  • Conservative Review reported that Omaha's DEA division said that an increase in the accessibility and purity of meth in Nebraska and the plains regions is responsible for the 45.6% increase in drug-related fatalities in Nebraska between May 2017 and 2018. The DEA attributes this increase to Mexican drugs cartels such as the Sinaloa Cartel whose ability to produce high-purity meth in large quantities enables them to sell to American criminal gangs at a significantly lower price.
  • NBC Nebraska reports that the meth epidemic in Nebraska has heightened so much that the drug has infiltrated rural Nebraska towns such as North Platte, a small town of about 25,000 people. The North Platte Police Department estimates about 50% to 60% of arrests in the town are because of meth.
  • According to an interview of a Nebraska investigator on NBC Nebraska, police say that Nebraska residents have been instrumental in their meth-related investigation and arrests. Additionally, former meth users in Nebraska have been reported to write letters to Nebraska law enforcers thanking them for " being so hard on them because they were finally able to get clean."
  • In an interview with NBC Nebraska, a Nebraska state official said that meth is 'awful drug' that tears families apart, damages relationships, and causes an influx in crime. The official further considers the states' efforts to be a success as possession arrests dropped about 8.5%.
  • According to Omaha World Herald, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Nebraska and other state departments ranked meth as the number one threat in the state since 2005. Nebraska law enforcement considers meth to contribute most to property and violent crimes in the state.
  • Additionally, Nebraska lawmakers and state officials, in collaboration with the federal government, passed laws that restricted pseudoephedrine sales, which is a primary meth-making component. Now Nebraska buyers have to show identification and be logged into the state's database to access the drug from pharmacy counters — a move that has cut down the number of meth labs in the state significantly.
  • Apart from the efforts by the Omaha DEA office, Nebraska has made steps to deal with the meth issue, with the main one being setting up of police task forces. Examples of such task forces include the "Western Nebraska Narcotics Intelligence Group (WING)" and the "Central Nebraska Drug and Safe Streets Task Force" which have been investigating and making arrests of key meth distributors in the state.
  • Apart from task forces, The Independent reports that inter-departmental police units have been working with county Attorney's offices and other law enforcement agencies to curb the meth epidemic.







Part
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of seven
Part
05

Methamphetamine Use-Wyoming

Methamphetamine use in Wyoming has been an issue for both the public and state officials since the early 2000s. The prevalence of methamphetamine use has seen state officials adopt a tough stance, which is in line with public opinion regarding the drug. Although the state has adopted several initiatives to combat the problem, lack of funding has resulted in one of the most prominent education groups being disbanded.

PREVALENCE OF DRUG USE

  • Methamphetamine was considered the scourge of Wyoming in the early and mid-2000s. At that time Wyoming was ranked number one in the US for methamphetamine use by those 12 and older.
  • Since 2000 Wyoming has seen a rapid increase in the availability and use of methamphetamine.
  • Methamphetamine investigations currently account for 50% of the current drug caseload for the Wyoming Department of Criminal Investigations.
  • Drug offense arrests are monitored in Wyoming. Since 1988 the figure had remained relatively stable at 30% however, in the last few years, this has risen to 45%. The majority of these arrests related to methamphetamine use.
  • Wyoming teenagers are twice as likely to have used methamphetamine in the last year compared to other teenagers across the US.
  • One in five Wyoming teenagers is likely to have used methamphetamine in the last month. This rate is five times higher than the national average.
  • Methamphetamine use has been shown to have strong links with both violence and aggression. Student violence and aggression have increased in many schools statewide.
  • A study by the Wyoming Division of Behavioral Health found that use among sixth to eighth graders has increased significantly in recent years. 
  • 2% of sixth-graders admitted to experimenting with methamphetamine. 10% of eighth-graders admitted to using the drug.
  • These rates of use continue to rise as the child progresses through high school.
  • The Cheyenne Meth Initiative found that 1 in every 200 Wyoming residents has used methamphetamine in the last 30 days.
  • The prevalence of methamphetamine use during pregnancy continues to rise.
  • Wyoming is considered part of the American West. From 2014 methamphetamine use has risen disproportionately in the American West and Mid West in comparison to the rest of the US.

ATTITUDES OF RESIDENTS

  • Public opinion around methamphetamine use is strong. Several consistent themes are expressed, including, methamphetamine users have no will power and a weak moral fiber.
  • The public considers methamphetamine increases criminal activity and requires increased health spending for those who choose to use the drug.
  • A study that compared the attitudes of the public to experts in the field of drug addiction found the public believed the adverse effects of using methamphetamine were considerably higher than other drugs.
  • The public believed methamphetamine was the most prevalent drug in Wyoming. Professionals considered prescription opioids the most prevalent.
  • One of the other findings of the study was the role the media played in public perception. Methamphetamine use is often dramatized in the media, and this has contributed to negative public perceptions.
  • Opioid use or prescription drug use often does not receive the same negative publicity, and this could have contributed to the different perceptions between the public and experts.
  • As knowledge of the addictive powers of methamphetamine has become known, a number of residents' attitudes have changed from distaste to compassion in respect of those addicted to methamphetamine.

ATTITUDES OF STATE OFFICALS AND LAWMAKERS

  • Methamphetamine use, possession, and distribution are taken very seriously by lawmakers and state officials in Wyoming.
  • Methamphetamine is covered by the Wyoming Controlled Substances Act.
  • There is a relatively low threshold for being charged with distribution in Wyoming.
  • Possession of up to 3 grams of methamphetamine is considered a misdemeanor. It carries a sentence of up to 1-year imprisonment and a fine of up to $1,000.
  • Possession of more than 3 grams of methamphetamine is a felony offense. It carries a sentence of up to 7 years in imprisonment and a fine of up to $15,000. This is in relation to a first offense.
  • Not only will a person be charged with felony possession if they have over 3 grams of methamphetamine, but they will also, in all likelihood face charges of distribution which carry heavier sentences.
  • Although it may seem harsh the penalty and seriousness of the offense depend on whether you were carrying 2.9 grams or 3.1 grams of methamphetamine, lawmakers have decided to prioritize punishing anyone found with methamphetamine.

STEPS THE STATE IS TAKING TO DEAL WITH THE ISSUE

  • Specific Counties in Wyoming have recognized the problem of methamphetamine use in their communities and hold annual meetings or conferences to attempt to combat the problem.
  • An example is the Natrona County, where the Casper Police Department held the 16th Annual Methamphetamine Conference in April 2019. This conference brings together law enforcement, social workers, educators, mental health professionals, and healthcare providers in an attempt to find solutions to the problem.
  • Various school districts, such as the Laramie County School District, have hired Violence Prevention Coordinators to address the increase in Methamphetamine related violence.
  • Wyoming has a mass media campaign that shows the effects of methamphetamine use and attempts to dissuade citizens from trying or using the drug. This public education campaign includes television commercials, newspaper advertisements, and roadside advertising hoardings.
  • State-sponsored campaigns of this nature have been running from 2004 to the current time.
  • An art contest named "Take a Stand Against Meth" was launched by the Wyoming Meth Project in 2015 in conjunction with the Wyoming Art Council. The idea was this would assist in getting the anti-meth message out to teenagers and young people.
  • The Wyoming Meth Project was partially funded by the Wyoming Department of Health. The Project addressed methamphetamine use and addiction through education.
  • Unfortunately, in 2017, the Wyoming Meth Project shut its doors due to a lack of funding. This has left a major gap in the fight against methamphetamine in the state.
  • The Wyoming Department of Health has a Substance Abuse Prevention Program which addresses methamphetamine addiction. It aims to use an integrated approach to prevent methamphetamine and other drug use in the state.
  • State officials have enacted several harm reduction laws to keep neighborhoods safe. These laws help deal with a person as a whole rather than just categorizing them based on their addiction.
  • State agencies focus on raising awareness about substance abuse and the path to recovery. There are several state-sponsored Addiction Centers in Wyoming.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

We extensively searched a range of publications and studies to determine the prevalence of methamphetamine in Wyoming. We supplemented this information by searching recent newspaper articles and media stories to determine patterns of use and current trends. To ascertain the public's opinion or attitude concerning methamphetamine, we searched scholarly articles and presentations. These sources provided an overview of the public perception of methamphetamine use in their communities.

By searching recent publications, articles, law enforcement news, and state statutes we were able to determine the tough stance that has been taken by lawmakers, and state officials in respect of methamphetamine use, possession, and distribution. Several of these sources also provided us with valuable information regarding the steps that the state has taken to combat the problem.
Part
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Part
06

Anti-Drug/Anti-Smoking Campaign Effectiveness

Statistics to show the effectiveness of anti-drug/anti-smoking campaigns in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska and Wyoming point to mixed results. Success was seen in the anti-smoking efforts however anti-drug statistics show marked increases in most instances.

1. TITLE: EFFECTIVENESS OF ANTI-DRUG/ANTI-SMOKING CAMPAIGNS IN NORTH DAKOTA

  • The state of North Dakota has licensed numerous addiction treatment programs to assist in curbing drug and tobacco use.

ANTI-SMOKING

  • The North Dakota Tobacco Prevention and Control Program comprises 41 organizations from the local, state and regional level.
  • The number of local organizations and tribal entities engaging the youth has increased from 4 in 2017 to 27 as of September 2018.
  • The state exceeded its target of 7500 smoke-free multi-unit housing units by 1890 units. This is well within the deadline and increased the areas covered by the Smoke-Free law to 145 from 126 in 2016.
  • A targeted increased in the reach of the ND Quits program to 2.5% from 1.63% failed and the reach at the end of FY18 is 1.89%.
  • The goal to increase the number of adult smokers who attempted to quit to 57% fell short, achieving a rate of 54.6%.
  • Healthcare systems accessed using the systems approach, increased to 77 exceeding the target of 50, and 81 health systems and community organizations work to target special populations exceeding the target of 33.

ANTI-DRUG

  • Drug overdose deaths were reduced by 13.2% to 68 deaths in 2017.
  • Arrests for drug or narcotics violations increased by 7.4% in 2018 over 2017.
  • Instances of seizures of Amphetamines/Methamphetamines in drug or narcotics violations increased from 2050 in 2017 to 2407 in 2018.

2. TITLE: EFFECTIVENESS OF ANTI-DRUG/ANTI-SMOKING CAMPAIGNS IN SOUTH DAKOTA

ANTI-SMOKING

  • Anti-smoking campaigns do not appear to be effective among adults as the percentage of adults smoking every day increased in 2018 to 19.3% from 18.1 % in 2017.

ANTI-DRUG

  • Of the women in prison in South Dakota, 64% are there for drug related crimes compared to 27% for men.
  • There were 3,390 persons arrested for methamphetamine related crimes in 2017.
  • This represents an increase of 625% over the previous figure of 467 in 2002.
  • Drug overdose deaths in South Dakota increased from 6.9 per 100,000 in 2013 to 8.5 per 100,000 in 2017.
  • South Dakota has the highest rate of drugs related arrests for the youth at 45 per 100,000.

3. TITLE: EFFECTIVENESS OF ANTI-DRUG/ANTI-SMOKING CAMPAIGNS IN MINNESOTA

ANTI-SMOKING

  • In 2018 13.8% adults reported smoking cigarettes compared to 14.4% in 2014.
  • This figure was halved among 18-24 year old as the rate of usage moved from 15.3% in 2014 to 8% in 2018.
  • Among adults use of e-cigarettes in 2018 was at a rate of 6.0% which was similar to that in 2014 at 5.9%.
  • Use among adults aged 18-24 was 21.9% in 2018 up from 12.8% in 2014.

ANTI-DRUG

  • Providers responded negatively at a rate of 72.7% to whether they have enough resources to differentiate between mental health symptoms and the effects of substance use.
  • Methamphetamine was the substance the 95.6% of health care providers surveyed listed as the most important to include in educational material, 44.2% wanted that information for themselves.
  • In 2018 161 persons died from a methamphetamines overdose, a 1,241% increase over the 12 persons that died in the mid 2000s.

4. TITLE: EFFECTIVENESS OF ANTI-DRUG/ANTI-SMOKING CAMPAIGNS IN NEBRASKA

  • Nebraska was ranked 51st and had the largest increase in overdose deaths in the US.

ANTI-SMOKING

  • Cigarettes were used by 4.0% of youths aged 12-17 in Nebraska. This is a decline from 14.4% in 2005.
  • Tobacco use among young adults aged 18-25 declined from 58.1% in 2005 to 49.6% in 2017.

ANTI-DRUG

  • Young adults aged 18-25 used illicit drugs at a rate of 6.2% and 15.9% had a substance use disorder in the previous 12 months.
  • The number of people enrolled in substance use treatment increased to 6,461 in 2017 over 5,498 in 2015.
  • There is a predicted increase of 38% in overdose deaths in Nebraska from 121 in 2017 to 167 in 2018.

5. TITLE: EFFECTIVENESS OF ANTI-DRUG/ANTI-SMOKING CAMPAIGNS IN WYOMING

  • The state of Wyoming ranked 34th in the US for percentage of population who smoked, the same as for 2017.

ANTI-SMOKING

  • There has been a slight reduction in persons reporting smoking cigarettes from 18.9% in 2017 to 18.7% in 2018.
  • This is a decrease of 4.3% from 2012 when the rate was 23%.

ANTI-DRUG

  • There were 17.6 deaths from drugs per 100,00 persons in 2018 the same figure as reported for 2017.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

To source statistics on the effectiveness of anti-drug/anti-smoking campaigns in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, or Wyoming the state government sites were the primary sources of data. This yielded most of the data used for Minnesota and North Dakota. For the other states and where information was not available for Nebraska and Wyoming on the state sites, federal agencies and non-government organizations working in anti-drug/anti-smoking effort were next consulted. If information was still required after checking these two sources, industry sites were then examined to get the required information.

Part
07
of seven
Part
07

Citizenship Pride

Residents of South Dakota feel they have "an enviable" position in America based on their access to national parks as well as landmarks. Several residents of South Dakota, including musicians, proudly reveal that their state is endowed with great people and great places. Residents of Wyoming have several reasons why they "brag about the things" that make their state incredible.

1. TITLE: MINNESOTA — DISTINCTIVE HIGHLIGHTS

  • The article is accessible via this link.

OVERVIEW

  • This article is used to market Minnesota to tourist and is written by a Minnesota-based company. It reveals some "great travel stories" that Minnesotans have to tell.
  • Minnesotans proudly reveal that the iconic Mississippi River originates as a tiny stream which flows out of the woodland lake in Itasca State Park, northwestern Minnesota. 
  • Residents proudly believe more miles of river Mississippi are in Minnesota than in any other state.
  • The article reveals a belief that Minnesota has about the "Mall of America." Residents think the most extensive Shopping, as well as entertainment complex in the United States, is located in Minnesota. The article proudly reveals that within 21 years of establishment, the international shopping destination attracts over 42 million visitors yearly.
  • The article proudly highlights several other prolific sites and "scenic byways" available in Minnesota.

2. TITLE: SOUTH DAKOTA: GREAT FACES. GREAT FUN?

  • The article is accessible via this link.

OVERVIEW

  • According to Capital Journal, a recent survey ranked South Dakota at "an enviable 4th place" based on its access to national parks as well as landmarks. With about 14 million tourists accounting for $2.6billion in revenue through state tourism.
  • The article reveals that South Dakota ranks 7th place overall in terms of most fun states, ahead of Texas, Hawaii, and Louisiana. South Dakota's National Parks remain the envy of Americans, as its bastions of natural beauty keep attracting people all over the world. The above and several other great things published about the state make residents of South Dakota proud.
  • Some residents are pleased to come from South Dakota. Their pride is evident from some reports which reveal some of them saying that at least we're "not West Virginia" (i.e., South Dakota is better than West Virginia).

3. TITLE: GREAT FACES, GREAT PLACES IN SOUTH DAKOTA

  • The article is accessible via this link.

OVERVIEW

  • Every year, more than three million visitors arrive at Mount Rushmore National Memorial. This destination is one of South Dakota's beautiful places and one of America's genuinely remarkable monuments.
  • This article reveals that South Dakota's local artists, including local Burlap Wolf King, are proud to be residents of South Dakota. The report provides a link to a clip titled "Open Mic with Burlap Wolf King." The local artist reveals in the video that South Dakota has great places and great faces.
  • The report also provides a link to a clip titled "Open Mic with Elsa Rae." The local artist proudly reveals in her video that South Dakota has lots of great places and great faces.
  • In the article, another local is proud of his focus on sourcing local fruits for wine making, revealing that it's "part of being" South Dakota.

4. TITLE: FIFTEEN THINGS ALL MINNESOTANS ACKNOWLEDGE

  • The article is accessible via this link.

OVERVIEW

  • This article publishes facts familiar to "all Minnesotans." It says all residents of the state agree to most "if not all of these."
  • Minnesotans believe they have a beautiful environment, and "it is nice outside."
  • Minnesotans proudly reveal that there are 10,000 lakes in their state.
  • Residents think Minnesota summers are very beautiful. They often enjoy sitting back by the campfire to relax.
  • Minnesotans proudly reveal that the massive crowds at the Mall Of America and the population of tourists drive them nuts. Minnesotans also acknowledge that they get very excited "about the Minnesota State Fair."

5. TITLE: ONLY IN WYOMING

  • The article is accessible via this link.

OVERVIEW

  • Residents of Wyoming say they have several reasons why they "brag about the things" that make their state so incredible.
  • Residents of Wyoming feel they are home to the "best parks in the entire world."
  • Wyoming is ecologically diversified as the Serengeti. Various species such as wolves, bison, coyote, elks, moose, and more, make the wildlife spotting in Wyoming an authentic safari.
  • Residents of Wyoming proudly reveal that they are not afraid to hard work, but thrive on it.
  • Everywhere in Wyoming is associated with a stunning scenery.

  • Sources
    Sources

    From Part 06