Blog
Aug
21

Substance Abuse in South Dakota

Morgan Hanzlik -- SCC Intern

In an amazing small town like Spearfish, we tend not to think about the problems drug use, alcohol abuse, and underage drinking can cause. Adult residents are hard-working, friendly individuals who help neighbors and visitors alike whenever possible. Children and students in our community are top-notch, excelling in academics, sports, and the arts. They have bright futures and show promise in whatever field they decide to study and career path they choose. Why would they put that at risk for drugs and alcohol?

Regardless of the reasons, we must change the trends of substance use in Spearfish. The first step to changing our perceptions of substance use is by becoming aware of the problems we face in Lawrence County and the state as a whole. Though the Spearfish Community Coalition focuses on prevention and aid in Spearfish specifically, we cannot lose sight of our county and state community.

Facts:

  • About 10% of South Dakota residents will need help with substance abuse at some point in their life.
  • About 52% of high school students in South Dakota have never tried to smoke a cigarette.
  • About 26% of high school students in South Dakota have tried binge drinking (drinking five or more alcoholic drinks in a row within a couple of hours) in the past month.
  • 53.3% of traffic fatalities in 2011 in South Dakota were caused by alcohol impaired drivers under 21.
  • In 2011, 73 South Dakota minors were arrested for driving under the influence.
  • About 1 in 3 high school students in South Dakota has tried marijuana, which is lower than the national average.
  • About 6% of high school students in South Dakota report using pain relievers for nonmedical use.
  • Lawrence, Meade, Pennington, and Custer are counties in west river South Dakota that are part of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) Program, a national program created to prevent and stop drug trafficking in the United States.
  • Methamphetamines, marijuana, and controlled prescription drugs are the top three biggest drug threats in the state of South Dakota, respectively.
  • I-90 and I-29 are the two main routes used to traffic drugs in South Dakota.
  • Last year, 13 South Dakota residents, ranging in age from 22 to 58, were indicted for drug conspiracy and distribution offenses and could face fines of up to 5 million dollars or 40 years in prison for these crimes.

Here at the Spearfish Community Coalition, we aim to reduce the number of South Dakota substance use through community involvement and support. We provide resources for area businesses, give support for individuals and groups, and operate through grants, donations, and volunteer time to create a safer, healthier environment for those living in the Spearfish area. In reducing the number of citizens who use and abuse substances, we ensure a healthier future for South Dakota residents and our neighbors in surrounding states.

Come see us at our office on Grant Street or stop by the carding booth at Downtown Friday Nights to see how you can help reverse current substance use trends in Spearfish!

 

Resources:

  • South Dakota Department of Social Services
  • Department of Health and Human Services; students surveyed in 2011
  • Department of Health and Human Services; students surveyed in 2011
  • The Century Council: Distillers Fighting Drunk Driving & Underage Drinking
  • The Century Council: Distillers Fighting Drunk Driving & Underage Drinking
  • Department of Health and Human Services; students surveyed in 2011
  • Department of Health and Human Services; students surveyed in 2011
  • US Department of Justice Drug Market Analysis for 2011
  • US Department of Justice Drug Market Analysis for 2011
  • US Department of Justice Drug Market Analysis for 2011
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation