Treatment organization director: younger people starting to use meth

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Methamphetamine use is causing troubles in communities nationwide. Darcy Jensen is executive director of Prairie View Prevention Services in Sioux Falls, which offers intervention, treatment, counseling and prevention work. She’s seeing change in whom meth is impacting.

“We work with people who are using meth, we work with adolescents who may have a family member who’s using meth, or we might have a family member who calls because they know someone in their family is using meth and they want help in knowing how to reach treatment, how to stay safe,” Jensen said.

Jensen says that of late, she’s seen younger users.

“What I’ve seen in the recent past, say in the last four to five years, is that we’re seeing a younger population who’s beginning to use meth and use it in a dependency-like way, not just experimenting, but actually becomes their drug of choice that they’re using,” Jensen said.

Jensen says young people might find themselves surrounded by meth.

“I think one of the things we see is that they’re growing up in a home that maybe the parents are using meth, or an older sibling is using meth, and so it’s becoming a drug that’s more normalized in their life,” Jensen said.

No matter how common, it’s still a powerful drug.

“I think one of the things to be mindful of is how fast people become addicted to meth,” Jensen said. “It’s one of those drugs that, most of the people I’ve worked with will say it just grabs you and takes you, and you feel like you don’t have a choice, and it’s that pull, that addiction that’s so strong.”

Still, there is hope.

“There is success with meth treatment, but we need to make sure we’re getting people there at a earlier time in their drug use,” Jensen said.

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