The 24/7 Sobriety program, launched in South Dakota several years ago to combat alcohol-related crimes through daily testing, is being considered as a national model that could get Congressional support and funding. Despite claims that it infringes on the rights of some criminal defendants, the program is seen as a major success by many in the law-enforcement community.
Opposition to legalization of medical and recreational marijuana in South Dakota centered in part on concerns that youth use of the drug would increase after legalization, and prevention advocates and law enforcement officials remain worried now that voters approved both forms of legal pot on Nov. 3. But a review of research studies and data from states where it is already legal provides mixed results and few firm conclusions about legalization's effects on youth.
At 35, Brandi Snow-Fly has reunited with her children and is working to avoid the triggers and traps that led to her addiction. She listens to scripture, stays away from her old friends, sets healthy boundaries and routines for herself and her children, listens to advice and most of all has not given up on herself or her family.
Teresa Peratt has been been sober for more than 20 years and now helps others try to beat addictions. But she is always on guard against the power of meth. 'That's the thing with meth. It doesn't give you room for anything else.'
Valerie Henry thought she was hiding her meth addiction until her life collapsed around her. Now, she sees things clearly. 'It all happened. I lost everything. I lost my children. I lost my brother. I lost my mind and there are parts of those things that don't come back.'
A growing body of research indicates women use and react to meth differently than men, often with more dangerous consequences. But there also is evidence that women are more capable of quitting meth and show a stronger response to treatment. Five South Dakotans share their addiction stories.
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