Methamphetamine: A real struggle for people in South Dakota

On Behalf of | May 5, 2020 | criminal defense |

Methamphetamine is a highly illegal substance that has few medical uses. It is known to have a high potential for abuse, and it’s also known that using meth can lead to psychological physical dependency.

Unfortunately, methamphetamine has spread throughout South Dakota, and as a result, there is a meth crisis in the state. In fact, the crisis is so significant that the state started an anti-methamphetamine campaign at the end of 2019 that aimed to reduce meth use.

Governor Kristi Noem stated that 3,366 people were arrested in relation to methamphetamine in South Dakota in 2018. Thirteen people died. While that might not seem like many, the truth is that any death from a preventable cause is a reason for concern.

The state reported that meth use among teens between 12 and 17 is more than double the national average. In 83% of the court admissions related to controlled substances in the state in 2019, meth was involved.

States west of the Mississippi have been seeing an increase in methamphetamine usage. This may be in part to the opioid crisis. Why? As authorities crack down on heroin and other opioids, methamphetamine is seen as another way to get the high that they’re seeking.

One officer from the Rapid City police said that just around a decade ago, it was unusual to see methamphetamine come in with someone accused of drug crimes. Today, it’s commonplace.

Methamphetamine is highly addictive. Using it once can be enough to lead to cravings and addiction. It’s cheap to make, and it’s easy to make. That’s a problem, according to the deputy director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

It’s clear that using, creating or selling meth is a bad idea, especially because it comes with such significant legal penalties. You could end up facing significant fines, administrative fees, jail time and other harsh penalties.

So, what do you do if you’re struggling with methamphetamine use?

The goal for most should be to seek out a drug addiction program. If you are arrested for using or selling methamphetamine and are addicted yourself, that may be an alternative penalty that you could seek, depending on your history with the law and the situation leading to your arrest. At the end of the day, this drug is dangerous, but there may be good options for defending yourself and protecting you against harsh, unfair penalties as a result of an arrest.