Department of Social Services
Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Meth is everywhere.

Meth is everywhere in South Dakota. It doesn't discriminate between big towns or small. It doesn't care about race or income level. Meth lures you in with the promise of a euphoric high. Then it lies to you and crushes your soul. Don't think it can't happen to you. Because it will. Here are answers to common questions about meth.

Meth quickly seduces those who eat, snort, smoke or inject it with an intense rush of euphoria. It leaves the user with a feeling of confidence and hyper-alertness that lasts for hours. And then it starts destroying lives.

Meth is one of the most addictive substances known and it can take the form of white or yellow powder, crystals or pills. Meth is also known as crank, crystal, ice, glass, or speed.

Meth releases a surge of dopamine, which is a brain chemical that affects functions such as movement, motivation and reward. Over time, meth destroys the brain’s dopamine receptors, making it impossible to feel pleasure.

Research shows that prolonged use of meth can permanently damage your cognitive abilities and may result in psychotic behavior such as paranoia, insomnia, anxiety, extreme aggression, delusions and hallucinations. Even death.

Prolonged use of meth can take its toll on your physical appearance to the point where you can become unrecognizable. Acne appears, sores take longer to heal and the skin loses its luster and makes you appear much older.

Here are mug shots that show what prolonged meth use can do to you.


Meth can make you see and hear things that aren’t really there. It can cause a series of reactions that rot your teeth. And it can lead to hallucinations that bugs are crawling under your skin.

Meth can also cause psychosis, which causes you to lose touch with reality and start to experience delusions, paranoia, hallucinations, and obsessive behavior.

Long-term effects of meth use include:

  • Increased mental health issues like depression, anxiety and social isolation
  • Body sores from users picking at their skin
  • Irreversible damage to blood vessels, including vessels in the heart and brain
  • Breathing problems similar to smoke inhalation
  • Stroke
  • Coma

Coming down from meth is intense. It lasts longer and is more severe than even cocaine withdrawal. Once you use it even once, you’re going to want more – either due to trying to chase that first high or to escape coming down.

When you come down, you can sleep for days. You’ll have increased anxiety. Psychosis. Paranoia. Depression. Sound fun? It’s not.

Meth is a highly addictive drug that steals from you. It can cost you your possessions as you sell them to get money for your next high. It can cost you your family. It can strip you of any potential you have as a person as you become completely consumed with your addiction. Meth also takes away time. Time that could have been spent making memories will be spent in one dangerous situation after another.

This is serious stuff. If someone you care about is using meth, the sooner they get help, the better off they’ll be. Click here for a list of resources that will give you access to professional counselors and other support people who can help get the right treatment.

It might be a little different from one person to the next. But common signs of meth use are:

  • Trembling and shaking
  • Insomnia
  • Meth mouth
  • Open sores
  • Hair loss
  • Loss of skin elasticity
  • Nervousness
  • Hallucinations
  • Disorganized thoughts