Gov. Daugaard signs anti-meth legislation into law

Methamphetamine continues to be a problem nationwide and South Dakota is no different.
That's why Governor Dennis Daugaard is looking to curb the state's rise in meth use with two anti-meth laws.

Lt. John Olson says, "We've seen some of the largest increases in meth over my entire career, being that 2015 was a record year and we just had tons of meth arrests and confiscations."

Meth arrests have soared in South Dakota, with 2,100 arrests statewide in 2016, which is up by 40 percent.
Last year there were more than 7,600 drug arrests in South Dakota, a 12.5 percent increase.
That's why Governor Dennis Daugaard signed two anti-meth measures into law last week, to address the meth problem, help those who are addicted and increase the punishment for parole violators.

Lt. Olson says, "We're making a lot of the same arrests of the same people and so now with some of these changes, we really do believe it could make some significant changes."

And the drug epidemic continues to impact overall crime, with drug use and crime going hand in hand.

Lt. Olson says, "People are going to commit crimes to be able to afford their habit and people are going to afford their habit and they're going to commit some violent crime at times and so it's kind of just an endless cycle of trying to get more drugs and then using the drugs and then being more violent and then trying to go back and get more drugs."

Part of the anti-meth plan is to use more than $600,000 of funding to expand the state's meth treatment services, which Lt. Olson says is crucial.

Lt. Olson says, "People who are not treated, especially meth addicts who are not treated, do not get better."

Other components of the anti-meth plan include creating an interstate drug trafficking task force, closer coordination of state anti-meth education campaigns and expansion of HOPE 24/7 probation to all South Dakota counties.