Meth addiction poses a serious problem in Rapid City

(Scarlett Lisjak)
Published: Jul. 15, 2021 at 7:23 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) -Nationwide Drug related deaths jumped 30% in 2020, according to new data released from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The rise in deaths is attributed to an increased use of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid drug. However, there is not just one drug crisis in America but two.

Clinical Director of Addiction Treatment Services at the Care Campus, Deanna Nolan, says fewer people sought treatment for addiction during the pandemic.

“We were really ramping up; we were probably at our max capacity of 55 out of 64 beds. Then COVID hit and as COVID started to increase in numbers our numbers started decreasing as far as residential,” Nolan said.

However, that does not mean the problem went away, Nolan adds over the last three years methamphetamine use has been increasing by 3% annually.

“We see some of our folks that have always had an alcohol misuse disorder starting to try meth as well,” Nolan said.

Part of the challenge in combatting meth addiction in Rapid City is its prevalence.

“As far as I know its easy to get, obviously there is a lot of it on the streets or we wouldn’t be seeing the numbers we are seeing,” Nolan said.

While meth is on the rise nation wide, the CDC says South Dakota is one of two states seeing a decrease in opioid addiction. In Rapid City, however, the Fire department administered Narcan, a medication used to treat opioid overdoes, 81 times last year which was an increase from 2019.

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