The message of an advertisement is very important as you do not want to mislead anyone. With an ongoing drug epidemic, you want to make sure that any advertisement about drugs has to do with achieving sobriety. South Dakota may have tried to come up with an anti-meth campaign, but actually ended up creating a misleading message of advertising for meth.

What Has South Dakota Tried to Do Towards the Meth Epidemic?

In South Dakota, meth has been declared an epidemic. The state has spent $450,000 on an anti-meth campaign which is considered a small budget for an advertisement campaign. Marketing firm Broadband believed that this campaign is the first step to bring about change and conversations surrounding meth use. 

What is the Controversy Surrounding the Anti-Meth Campaign?

In the campaign, the slogan is “Meth. I’m On It.” Columbia University psychologist Carl Hart believes that this looks like a “Saturday Night Live” joke and believes it is a big waste of taxpayer money. Governor Noem believes the campaign is doing its job in raising awareness. Hart believes that the best way to raise awareness is to tell people where to go for help. There are links to treatment centers on the “On Meth” website and a toll-free number on the bottom of the ads, but they are small and easy to miss. 

What Are the Best Ways to Treat Meth Addiction?

Treatment for meth addiction normally includes behavioral therapies and support from family and friends. You can use the “Matrix Model” which is a 16-week behavioral treatment approach that combines behavioral therapy, family education, individual counseling, 12-step support, drug testing, and encouragement for non-drug related activities. While there may not be any miracle cures to offer South Dakotans, the state can learn from other states on how they have battled drug addiction in their communities. 

Hart said that one of the best campaigns that he has seen involves training policemen and ambulance workers in how to use naloxone. This way, medically-trained professionals can put themselves out there to prevent overdoses. With the training these medical professionals acquire, they will be able to put their skills to good use to save lives. The state of South Dakota was wrong in thinking that the attention needed to be pointed out to the existence of meth. Any successful anti-drug advertisement campaign needs to be centered on treatment options and other resources for addiction recovery.

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