Meth: We’re On It

Eye on KELOLAND

Meth: We’re On It. Remember that campaign in South Dakota; the slogan that was mocked and made fun of on social media and even on several late night syndicated talk shows.

Nearly one year after it launched the controversial ads, the state says it’ll still be using them again.

Despite the incredulous and shocking television, radio and newspaper ads, those on the front lines of fighting addiction say the campaign worked.

That’s right! Nearly one year after South Dakota launched the controversial campaign, the state is no longer using the slogan that was mocked and made fun of on social media and even on several late night syndicated talk shows.

Despite the incredulous and shocking television, radio and newspaper ads, those on the front lines of fighting addiction say the campaign worked.

South Dakota’s ‘Meth: We’re On It’ campaign may have been funny to some, but state officials say the meth problem is serious.

The state says it’ll still be using that slogan as it moves forward in the fight against meth.

“Meth We’re On It’ is what we used in our first awareness campaign and we’re pivoting now to ‘Anyone Everywhere’, the whole idea here is that meth can be used by anyone in South Dakota and it can happen anywhere it doesn’t matter if you live in rural South Dakota or in the urban areas,” Secretary of Department of Social Services Laurie Gill said.

Secretary of Department of Social Services Laurie Gill says the first slogan was put out there to grab people’s attention and it worked.

“One way or the other, you mentioned the negative attention that it received but one way or the other people were paying attention, they were going to our website and they were also reaching out for the resources for treatment,” Gill said.

She says the numbers were overwhelming in the first few months.

“We saw a 40% increase in individuals who were seeking that treatment between November and January so that was the kind of numbers we were looking at, so that’s one thing, the OnMeth.com website we can track how many individual people were going there to learn about all of the resources and we saw almost 200,000 people that went there, individuals, so that was a goal because we put a lot of resources all together on that website,” Gill said.

“I think it was successful in creating awareness,” Darcy Jensen with Prairie View Prevention Services said.

Darcy Jensen with Prairie View Prevention Services says the Meth We’re On It campaign may have grabbed people’s attention, but it didn’t go far enough.

“A media campaign is different than a prevention campaign or a substance abuse education campaign, when we look at media campaigns, whatever the product might be that we are trying to promote, sell or create awareness of we want to grab people’s attention, prevention campaigns want to do that also but then they want to take it a couple more steps, and that’s where I hope the state is going next, the next steps,” Jensen said.

The state is working on that. Gill says now that people are aware of the meth problem, the second phase of the campaign, which is still being worked on, will now focus on prevention and treatment and it’ll be targeted toward kids.

“That was going to be one of the legs of this campaign and then as you know right in the middle of it between November and May COVID hit and a lot of schools, everybody went home so there are a lot of segments of this campaign we are going to have to pick back up now as we’re watching how the school districts are handling things, prevention to the middle school youth was a big part of who we were trying to reach as well,” Gill said.

But Jensen says the meth education portion of the campaign shouldn’t be just for students.

“For everyone, it’s not, in my opinion, it’s not limited to we are going to work with middle school kids or we are going to work with high school kids, because those aren’t the only people that are asking questions,” Jensen said.

If you or someone you know is battling a drug addiction, click here for a resource.

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