We're on It: A Narrative Criticism of South Dakota's Meth Awareness Campaign
Opening ParagraphSouth Dakota's We're On It campaign garnered national attention for its surprising take on the American drug epidemic. Scenes of 'ordinary people' proudly announcing, "I'm on meth," made appearances on every late-night talk show, from James Corden's Late Late Show to the Saturday Night Live weekend update. The state campaign quickly evolved into a national discussion, as professionals around the country debated the appropriateness of a campaign that used irony and humor to raise awareness about the otherwise serious issue of methamphetamine (meth) addiction. In those discussions, significant emphasis was placed on tangible elements such as costeffectiveness and practicality, while overlooking more subtle themes like narrative impact. Most notably, little attention was paid to the state's decision to abandon narratives of violence frequently utilized during the War on Drugs Era in favor of an emerging narrative of "depersonification" seen in the campaign. Overall, We're On It suggests narratives that create associations between drug use and drug users are inherently counterproductive because they compel public awareness towards stigmatization and away from informationseeking behavior.