Governor Noem launching anti-meth campaign

From Facebook, Governor Kristi Noem announces a new meth initiative from the State of South Dakota:

Update – and the release from DSS:

“Meth. We’re On It”’ movement aims to overcome meth epidemic across state

PIERRE, S.D. (Nov. 18, 2019) – There is a meth problem in South Dakota, and we need everyone on it.

Today, the State of South Dakota launched a statewide campaign to tackle the methamphetamine epidemic. The “Meth. We’re On It. TM” campaign aims to bring awareness to those affected by addiction, while connecting community members who want to combat the issue locally.

“South Dakota’s meth crisis is growing at an alarming rate,” said South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem. “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.”

To combat the issue from a law enforcement standpoint, 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.

Prevention resources are a critical component of the mission as twice as many South Dakota 12-17-year-olds report using meth in the past year than the national average, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The “Meth. We’re On It.” campaign includes materials to aid educators and parents in youth engagement, equipping them with prevention tactics and other materials, while also encouraging them to join the movement.

“The campaign is inclusive and empowering and establishes a movement for all South Dakotans to take an active role in keeping our state a great place to live,” explained Laurie Gill, South Dakota Secretary of the Department of Social Services. “We’re encouraging everyone to work together to eliminate meth.”

Community members are encouraged to take action in their local areas and to have discussions, offer support and resources to those they may know struggling with meth, coordinate volunteer efforts to support partner organizations, and advocate for prevention programs.

The campaign includes state-wide advertising support through TV commercials, radio ads, billboards and social media. The comprehensive website,, is a source for finding local resources targeting those who want to help the cause or need assistance in recovering from meth addiction. The impactful visuals of real South Dakotans simply but powerfully tell the story that meth is everyone’s problem, and that communities can band together to end its use in South Dakota.

“With about 83% of South Dakota’s 2019 court admissions for controlled substances being methamphetamine-related, it’s evident there’s a need for an aggressive approach to reduce use of the devastating drug. This is a movement to educate South Dakotans on the signs of addiction, the treatment resources that are available, and how to implement prevention techniques in their homes and among their communities,” concluded Gill.

For help with meth addiction, call 1-800-920-4343 or text “onmeth” to 898211, or visit for a list of available resources and local treatment centers.

82 Replies to “Governor Noem launching anti-meth campaign”

  1. a friend of education

    I am glad of this effort from our governor. Meth is a scourge — a toxic plague upon the SD community. Crystal Methamphetamine destroys bodies and minds, leaving addicts to wallow in dissipation. Let’s ensure ALL young people know it’s poison. Parents, tell your kids. Teachers, coaches, and preachers help spread the word. Even those arguing that marijuana should be legalized can surely agree that meth is death.

  2. Troy

    This is consistent with her fight against human trafficking. Governor Noem has a keen sense of the roots human dignity is quashed whether by others or chemicals and not just reliance on law enforcement. Thank you Governor.

  3. Randy

    A half million dollars of taxpayer dollars to what appears to be a free Squarespace generated website and the dumbest possible slogan? Congrats Governor

  4. Annie Onimis

    “Don’t jerk and drive“ was one thing, an innuendo that suggests that The entire populous is the state is either addressing the problem, or that we’re ALL on meth; c’mon. This is not a topic you tonge-in-cheek!
    This is like a bad dad joke gone horribly wrong – the one no one laughs at; but then we threw a few hundred thousand dollars at it, so the entire nation could collectively not laugh at it, either!
    Be better!

  5. Republican Yote

    Did she let a group of middle-aged Facebook moms decide the campaign details?…Please tune in to see SD on every late night talk show.

  6. Matt

    $450k for this confusing ad campaign paid to an out-of-state agency from the socialist republic of minnesota.

    Meanwhile, SD spends only $1m for meth treatment and $700k for prevention in schools.

    Prevention groups across the state are literally hosting bake sales to raise funds and treatment centers wish more money was available to treat people on meth.

    We can do better.

  7. Jeff Jones

    This is how we deal with an addiction problem? An ad campaign?? And a really, really bad one. Don’t Jerk and Drive was horrible. This is worse. Who is accountable for spending taxpayer money on this crap? It should have never made it to the Governors desk. This is an embarrassment for the state.

  8. tara volesky

    I am on Meth…….Not. Another form of enabling. It oppresses people saying drugs and alcohol are more powerful than you. It’s kind of like guns kill people. All this propaganda bs is not working. Focus on families and community. It’s a family, neighborhood, and community issue. Big brother is not going to cure the addict. The war on drugs has been a 3 trillion dollar failure.

    1. Anonymous

      Your psychoanalysis is getting a little old, Troy. This is a huge blunder. No one is afraid of her. They are ashamed.

    2. Anonymous

      We’re afraid of what other act of stupidity she can come up with.

      Actually having experience working in the addiction field- this campaign so far is a bust. But studies prove that for every $1 spent in prevention, evidence based practices rather than ar campaigns that make it seem like we’re all on meth, save $7 in treatment costs.

      This is one of the worst ideas she’s come up with… and why didn’t she find a better in-state agency?

      This is awful- a national joke already.

    1. Anonymous

      My god, your and Troy’s apologias are so predictable. There is no hoop you won’t jump through to justify stupidity so long as you support a politician elsewhere. 450k for this, Ed. 450k.

  9. Anonymous

    I have finally stopped laughing at this slogan.
    I never thought anybody could make meth addiction hilarious.
    I am not on meth. But now I think I’ve been missing something.

  10. Troy

    I guess it was better when we thought Meth was “those people’s problem” and we could pretend it wasn’t a problem (or we concentrate on opioids since that is a problem affecting us or our kids).

    Like the sex and human traffickers, meth users are out of sight and out of mind. Easy to pretend they don’t exist. I appreciate and thank Governor Noem for making this a priority and surprisingly being ridiculed for a campaign which uses the “We” to lump us in with our forgotten neighbors, neighbors who have lost control of their lives and their very dignity.

    Yes, it is fun and easy to post memes or joke about the campaign to raise awareness, if you think Meth is a joke or not your problem and we should keep doing the same old stuff we’ve been doing.

  11. tara volesky

    And how it been working having government spending billions of dollars on the war drugs. Sorry, government throwing money at the problem is not the answer.

  12. Ann Onymity

    I’m sure the Republicans would have been just as fond of this campaign had it been purchased by Governor Sutton. So what program in DSS had this much money to spend on an anti-drug campaign?

    1. Eastside Voter

      Good point. If this were Sutton’s program, Democrats would be the ones defending it (and calling Republicans nazis because omg they so are!)

    2. tara volesky

      No, they probably would start acting like conservatives if Billie Sutton was Governor. He probably would think this is a waste of money.

  13. mhs

    Don’t know the numbers in SD, but, in right next door in ND everybody is indeed on meth, grass, heroin, etc. Had a friend post a well-paying, white collar job that required several licenses that are not easy gets. 7qualified applicants. 6 failed the drug test. Not a day goes by in the oil patch where a high trucker doesn’t put his rig in a ditch, hopefully not squashing mom’s minivan on the way. International gangs like MS-13 routinely are mentioned in arrest reports. The new jail in Bismarck is already full and preparing to build more violent offender cells.

    Will this campaign help, I don’t know. Gotta start somewhere.

  14. Ed Randazzo

    So to all the negative posters above: What is your idea, your program, to address this meth epidemic? Is it to ignore it? Shall we decriminalize and/or legalize every substance that people will ingest to escape from reality? What would you do to expose the horror that results when our children are trapped into meth? Would you be happy if DSS said “We don’t know what to try” or “We can’t afford to try to stop the victimization of your kids.” Quit focusing on the slogan (which has actually served its purpose) and focus on the impact on our kids, on our law enforcement, on our courts, on our jails and prisons and start focusing on how we can address it effectively. It’s easy to snipe from a safe distance, it’s not so easy to watch a friend, relative or child that has fallen to the scourge of meth.

    1. Anonymous

      Stop focusing on this dumb slogan and instead focus on the other things this 450k could have been spent on!

      — Ed Randazzo, not bending over backward to justify Noem’s expenditures

      1. Michael L. Wyland

        The contract total is actually about $1.3-$1.4 million. It’s the most attention-getting South Dakota government ad campaign since “Don’t jerk and drive!”

        The question is whether the attention can be translated to action to address meth addiction and treatment, or whether the “Meth. We’re on it.” campaign becomes known for all the Internet memes, from Mike Tyson to “Breaking Badlands.”

        1. Anonymous

          I totally believe that whatever metrics the state government selects to measure “success” will be measurable and not cherry picked to justify such a massive expenditure on what amounts to little more than a meme.

    2. Blake

      Well Ed, to start I would of made sure I hired a South Dakota marketing company rather than seek services elsewhere. Second of all I would of fired whoever came up with the idiotic service. Third I’d put more money into prevention and treatment. Rather than an ad campaign that makes South Dakota a laughing stock.

      1. Anonymous

        Give it time, you’ll see our governor come out with a hypocritical holiday statement telling us how important it is to buy local.

          1. Anonymous

            I buy local year round, and I don’t need reminders. I was pointing out how to expect a hypocritical statement from Noem about supporting SoDak businesses. She did go with an out-of-state company instead of one in SD, right?

    3. Anne Beal

      Ed, my idea for an ad campaign would involve Rhiannon White’s mug shot on a poster, with a description of the way her children died. How’s that?

    4. tara volesky

      Do you really need to spend $1,400,000 on an out of state advertisement company when the state has all the media tools to do it for no cost? Hey, we are on it.

    5. tara volesky

      Get the Feds and State out of it. It’s a family and local community issue. Sometimes you can’t help people that don’t want to be help. You do the best job you can do and then turn it over to God or your higher power. Sorry, government should be fired when it comes to the war on drugs.

  15. Anonymous

    This idiotic add campaign brought attention to itself, not meth. Kristi could stand naked with a sign stating “don’t do meth.” That too would garner much attention, but would have equally little, if any, impact upon the rate of meth use in South Dakota.

  16. Ann Onymity

    Yes, meth use and availability are terribly serious here.
    The problem with this ad campaign is it tries so hard to get our attention being cute it fails. This problem deserves more than just a silly play on words.
    I’d love to see the sales job that convinced the Governor to allow DSS to spend $1.3-$1.4 million on this campaign, as opposed to whatever other purposes that money could have gone for.
    Or was this all grant money?

    1. Chplraj

      This explains it all with this guy on board her team. And where were Dan and Dave on this, I think they hold the purse strings right?,

  17. tara volesky

    Kristi Noem is paying her communications guy Joshua Shields $140,375 a year. Doesn’t cost money to tell the public that I am on meth.

    1. Not a Noem Supporter

      Josh Shields in her chief of staff… if you’re gonna attack Gov Noem, please get your facts straight.

  18. tara volesky

    Ok, whoever her media group is. Wouldn’t Josh be in charge. And yes I am attacking the the fact that there is almost 1.4 million dollars being wasted on the war on drugs.

    1. Troy

      Are you really inferring we should legalize Meth? And, even if it were legal, we shouldn’t educate about its dangers (like we do about drugs, alcohol, obesity, etc.)?

      1. tara volesky

        I think it should be treated as a health hazard, not a crime. People should be arrested for crimes. I guess if you want to destroy your life by abusing opiods, meth, alcohol, gambling addiction, smoking, etc, well as long as you are not, stealing, raping, murdering anybody, then I do believe it should be decriminalized. At least try it, because locking an addict up is not working. I don’t believe and addict is a criminal.

        1. Anonymous

          Ever read the crime reports Tara from Sioux Falls especially when others are negatively affected and end up being victims? Much of it is fueled by addiction.

          1. tara volesky

            Not just Sioux Falls……so you guys believe these addicts should be treated as criminals or a health hazard? Can’t have it both ways.

        2. Troy

          Tara, this statement is likely the most repulsive thing I’ve ever seen you write. May the Lord have Mercy on your soul for your reckless and ignorant lack of concern for the adults and children who suffer from the scourge that is meth.

          Mathew 25:44-46 (31-46 for full story)

            1. Troy

              The entire lack of concern for meth users (future, current and past) as long as they don’t affect you by committing a crime. Repulsive and rotten.

              1. tara volesky

                So Troy,you believe that an 86 year old should be locked up for using illegal drugs? Come on Troy, lets hear it. Right now she is committing a crime.

              2. tara volesky

                You don’t even make sense Troy…….my lack of concern???? Really Troy???? You are quite judgmental for not even knowing me. That’s not being very Christ like Troy. Oh well, I forgive you.

          1. MC

            I’m not sure if it is the most repulsive thing ever, however it is right up there in the top ten maybe the top five.

            I fully understand where she is coming from. In the Declaration of Independence we have this phrase

            …that all men are created equal & independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent & inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, & liberty, & the pursuit of happiness.

            Who is to say what one person’s happiness really is? Should the government stand in the way of one person’s pursuit of his or her happiness; even if that happiness involves drugs? One’s personal happiness may be torture to someone else.

            We know that true happiness can’t be found through the use of chemicals, natural or otherwise. People will still try. The problems begin when the effect of chemical dissipate, and there is a desire to achieve that same happiness state. The drive to obtain more of the drug can be overwhelming, people are willing to sacrifice all they hold dear, just for that moment of ‘happiness.’ It is not right, I know, but, when that craving affects the happiness, liberty and life of others, our government should step in.

            The government should not be stepping in where the church should be active. The government should not be jailing addicts, instead the church should helping these people, recover, and help them find their happily ever after, the government would do best to get out of their way.

              1. tara volesky

                November 21, 2019 at 3:20 pm
                I’m not sure if it is the most repulsive thing ever, however it is right up there in the top ten maybe the top five……….. MC could you please explain this statement. Thanks.

                1. tara volesky

                  MC and Troy, I am waiting for a reply. Now don’t deflect or resort to name calling. Just answer the questions.

  19. Anne Beal

    Some things I’ve heard the last few days:
    1. Talking about an issue and laughing at it are not the same thing. It’s a serious issue. Or it used to be. Now it’s a national joke.
    2. People in other parts of the country already think we’re a bunch of gun-totin’ rednecks; now they think we’re all on meth. How is this campaign going to affect tourism? Does this make us look happy and friendly? Or does this make us look like meth-crazed addicts, with guns.
    3. Why has “raising awareness” been elevated to a goal? Now that we’re all aware of the problem, what are we going to do about it? The meth users themselves don’t know what to do about it. Their families don’t know what to do about it. So if you see a meth user in MacDonald’s, what are you supposed to do about it? Should we all start carrying benzodiazepines? In addition to teaching the public CPR, how to use defibrillators, & how to administer Narcan, should we all be taught how to give Versed, too?
    4. $1.4 million dollars?
    5. To a firm in Minnesota?

  20. Troy


    First, as long as the consequences of illegal drug use has been socialized (disability and health care, etc), the idea the taxpayers can’t restrict behaviour which will have financial consequences on the non-using taxpayer is ludicrous.

    Second, while I have libertarian inclinations, we live in a society where by its nature there are compromises on liberty. The policy debate is whether there is a compelling interest in society to limit certain freedoms. In addition to #1 above, you have impact on others to consider, such as children, colleagues and neighbors.

    Third, unlike alcohol and smoking, where the debilitating consequences take years of use to manifest themself, meth’s manner of addiction and short-time of use for a permanent re-wiring of the brain means the user functionally ceases to possess legal, intellectual, and moral freedom and capacity to pursue any modicum of happiness for and over themselves in a matter of weeks.

    Fourth, because of the impact of meth on personality and moods, children in the care of meth users are at greater risk than virtually any other mood-altering substance.

    Finally, there isn’t a single moral standard in which I find it acceptable for individuals in the community or the society at large to stand by and watch a person re-wire their entire brain, become a significant drain on society, and render themselves virtually unproductive for themself, their family and their neighbors without active and aggressive intervention. I’m just not that person.

    Back to Tara’s comment: Her lack of concern and willingness to passively allow this scourge to happen is utterly repugnant.

  21. tara volesky

    You still didn’t answer my question Troy…….maybe I can rephrase it for you….ok Troy, if you had a loved one that was illegally using drugs or smoking pot, would you call the cops and have him or her arrested? Remember, right now it is a criminal act.

    1. Troy

      Because of the speed at which meth can re-wire permanently a brain and cause irreversible damage, I’d call the cops on any person I love who is using meth because I know waiting for them to hit bottom or get treatment freely will be too late to save them. In fact, if I knew of such a person who was on the way to procure meth, I’d call the cops or make a citizen’s arrest until the police got there to put them in custody.

      The first best solution to meth is to stop the first ingestion. The next best solution is to stop the next ingestion. And because the consequences are so severe and permanent and meth users have sacrificed functional legal, moral and intellectual freedom to act in their best interest, saying “it is their freedom” is dog whistle for “I really don’t give a crap” about this person.

      Tara, your false equivalence of dope and meth is detestable.

    2. Anonymous


      Victims from crimes fueled by addiction lose on multiple levels.

      Initial financial loss many times and restitution can be like getting blood out of a turnip while some of the perps know how to game the system.

      You keep spouting things that are not realistic at all. The imaginary world you keep pushing will in reality just end up with even more suffering and people unfortunately just taking the law into their own hands and chaos. It’s probably why you will always be on the extreme fringe.

  22. tara volesky

    Well Troy, you would bust them, but I think a I would call an addiction specialist or their family members to get them proper help. I have been down that road. In fact, I took in a drug addict in to help a good friend who had a child addicted to all kinds of hard drugs. I never called the cops. Jailing someone with an addiction problem is immoral in my opinion. I had a couple of friends die of drug overdose. They were wonderful people. I am so thankful they never had to experience prison. I am sorry if you think I am repulsive. I think it is repulsive to have non-violent people sitting in prison for smoking pot or getting hooked on prescription drugs that turns into street drugs. I hope my 86 year old friend never has to go to jail.

  23. Troy

    You are truly a horrid friend. you didn’t call the cops and they are now dead. And you think dying is better than life which includes a few years getting clean in jail. I want my friends to want me to be alive and willing to do the tuff stuff to keep me alive.

    And just to be clear. We are talking about meth and not pot or alcohol or prescription drug addition.

  24. tara volesky

    Troy,calm down, they are not dead. I didn’t call the cops on my friends using hard drugs. Their families stepped in and took the proper steps to avoid incarceration.