South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem says the viral ad campaign’s name is fulfilling part of the state’s mission: to start a conversation about meth.
On Monday, South Dakota set the internet abuzz with its new meth awareness campaign which is questionably titled, “Meth. We’re On It.” The rollout for the awareness campaign will include commercials, billboards and a new website.
The Meth Crisis
Currently the state is being hit hard by meth addiction. The number of people seeking treatment for meth addiction doubled from 2014 to 2018. The number of underage users is double the national average. According to SDNewsWatch, meth-related arrests rose 625% between 2002 to 2017.
“South Dakota’s meth crisis is growing at an alarming rate,” said South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem in a recent PSA. “It impacts every community in our state and threatens the success of the next generation. It is filling our jails and prisons, clogging our court systems, and stretching our drug treatment capacity while destroying people and their families. This is our problem, and together, we need to get on it.”
Aside from raising awareness about meth use, the state is taking other measures to help curb meth sales and use. According to OnMeth.com, the official site of the awareness campaign, these are some of the moves South Dakota has made:
The state has implemented meth task forces in Sioux Falls and Pennington County. These two areas accounted for the majority of the state’s 2,242 arrests in the first eight months of 2019.
Additionally, Gov. Noem’s FY20 budget request included more than $1 million in funding to support meth treatment services and more than $730,000 for school-based meth prevention programming.
Reactions Are In
Twitter users lampooned the name which quickly began trending on the site.
METH. WE’RE ON IT. South Dakota state government spent $500k on an ad campaign to let everyone know they’re on meth. I suppose now the state’s badlands will be known as the “Breaking Bad Lands.” pic.twitter.com/Iq3HDA9o0g
While others pointed out that real lives are being lost to meth addiction and awareness is a good thing.
As funny as some people think #MethWeAreOnIt is for a failure of thinking things through. Meth is still a huge issue. I should know, it’s what my brother overdosed on just a few months ago. So yes, talk about how campaigns can be better. But, see the bigger picture.
For Gov. Noem the name is fulfilling part of the campaign’s mission: to start a conversation. The maligned name of the campaign has trended on social media and been spotlighted on TV outlets across the nation.
“Hey Twitter, the whole point of this ad campaign is to raise awareness,” Gov. Kristi Noem tweeted on Monday afternoon. “So I think that’s working…#thanks #methweareonit”