South Dakota is on meth.
Governor Kristi Noem launched a very confusing and controversial anti-meth campaign, “Meth: We’re On It” on Monday to bring awareness to the meth epidemic in South Dakota. The campaign will include a TV ad, billboards, posters and a website: onmeth.com. The truth is, the whole thing seems kind of like one big joke.
The campaign went viral on social media, and “South Dakota” and “meth” were trending on Twitter with many people questioning the tagline.
Noem said that South Dakota’s meth crisis is “growing at an alarming rate” and impacts every community in the state, threatening future generations.
The campaign has – understandably – received lots of backlash on Twitter through the hashtag #MethWeAreOnIt.
Despite criticisms, Noem stands with the claim that the campaign so far has been a success. Noem said the mission of the campaign was to raise awareness and to get people talking about the problem, and to get them talking about solutions.
Noem said, “This is our problem and together, we need to get on it.”
But is this campaign really bringing awareness to the meth epidemic, or is it making a mockery of a serious issue?
If the goal of the campaign was to draw attention to the drug problem in South Dakota, then some may consider it a success. People are talking about the issues, which is a fact. But it should have been done in a different, more appropriate way.
But nobody is actually talking about the possible solutions. Instead, people are making fun of the fact that the ad makes it sound like everyone in the state is on meth.
If the goal of the campaign is to get things to actually change, then, at this point in time, no one is taking the campaign seriously enough to actually make those changes. People making fun of the meth epidemic does not equal success.
South Dakota faces a very real meth problem. Just last year, the state made 3,366 meth-related arrests, and the drug was related to the deaths of 13 people, according to the South Dakota Youth Risk Behavior Survey. They also found that South Dakota youth are at higher risk of using methamphetamines compared to the national average.
The goal is that, in the coming weeks, the campaign will “educate every person across South Dakota on the signs of meth addiction and the resources to combat addiction.”
Hopefully, as time goes on, the campaign will create outcomes that align with their goals. South Dakota does have an issue with meth, and it is important that people take the issue seriously instead of laughing at it online.