Methamphetamine presentations held for Redfield high schoolers
By Shiloh Appel
On Thursday, September 7, 2017, two Methamphetamine presentations were held by adult SADD leaders and local law enforcement officers for all Redfield high school students.
The students were shown a short video in which South Dakotans described how Meth ruined their lives. SADD leader, Le Ann Wasmoen, also read off some statistics to the high schoolers before Sheriff Kevin Schurch and Deputy Adams shared stories of their personal experiences with Meth addicts in Spink County.
"When they loaded her in the ambulance, one of the gals on the ambulance crew thought it was her uncle. That is how badly she was burned. She didn't even recognize that she was a woman," said Adams, describing the woman who was caught in the New Year's Meth explosion in Conde."That is how volatile this kind of thing is."
Adams went on to describe other recent cases. In one case, during a routine traffic stop, one man did not stop right away. When he finally did stop, they found he had a quarter of a gram of Methamphetamine on his person.
"At that time I didn't think much about it, but the sheriff called me that night and said,'they took him to the hospital. He says he ate an ounce of Meth.' I said,'If he ate an ounce, he would be dead.' But he lived. Shane [Croeni] sat with him through the night. What happened was, when he realized he was getting stopped, he ate probably most of the gram of Meth," said Adams."...He was completely out of his mind that night."
Another time, Adams was called on an emergency. She thought "a farmer had a heart attack or something." However, arriving on the scene, she found a young man passed out in his car.
"Sitting next to him was a Samsung tablet with a line of dope on it. It didn't look like the crystal Meth that you would normally get. It turned out to be a line of Meth and a line of cocaine, mixed," said Adams. "Now these guys, these heavy Meth users, their moods change — one minute they are talking to you and the next minute all hell breaks loose. So I am trying my best to keep this man calm. I am by myself. I end up with him in the front seat of the car right next to me. He is in hand cuffs. I let him keep his phone because I thought it would help keep him occupied. All of a sudden he takes the SIM card out of his phone and folds it in half…then he broke his cell phone in half. I put on my red lights and decided we were going fast."
Adams explained that they later found out that the man came from Minnesota and had no idea where he was or how he got to where he was. She then went on to share story after story of more encounters in Spink County.
"All of these people that I have interviewed have told me the same thing," said Adams. "I said, 'how did you start?' They started out by smoking weed. Every single one of them have told me that. I will tell you a little bit about a good friend of mine that went to school here. He was a dedicated weed user. He must have smoked weed all of his high school years. He helped put away a drug dealer that was selling dope to the high school kids. When I ask, 'what do you think weed does for you?' People say 'weed doesn't hurt you. That is why we want to legalize it, because it doesn't hurt you.' But you know what it does for most people? It takes away your ambition, your desire in life to become somebody, to do something. You can shake your head all you want. But this guy was so smart…and he is dead now. I think of the things that he could have done in life…but that is what it does, it takes away your desire to do great things."
Sheriff Kevin Schurch and Deputy Adams also spoke on the many negative aspects of the legalization of Methamphetamine and accepted questions before closing the presentation.