The Most Commonly Used Substances in South Dakota

Like much of the rest of the country, there are many people in South Dakota who have addictions to one or more substances. However, while people living here have access to any and all drugs that you would find anywhere else in the nation, some substances get abused far more than others. In many of those cases, the people who abuse those drugs and alcohol end up becoming addicted to them.

From Rapid City to Sioux Falls, these drugs have permeated the whole of South Dakota and have caused all manner of issues between family members, friends, and even with oneself. If you or a loved one have an addiction to one of the following substances, there is still hope – regardless of what your situation may feel like at the moment.


Arguably a staple of human culture, alcohol has roots that reach into nearly every aspect of our social lives. People consume alcohol when they are with friends or family and celebrating nearly any kind of event. Alternatively, though, people also use alcohol when they are sad, mad, or dealing with any other kind of negative emotions. That might not seem like that big of a deal, but it can mean the difference between life and death for those who have found themselves addicted to this substance. It would be unwise to assume that alcohol is inherently safe because of its widespread use, but that doesn’t change the fact so many people have exactly that sentiment.

What makes alcohol especially dangerous for those who have addictive personalities or who have already developed an alcohol addiction is that it is just so easy to get ahold of. This makes fighting the addiction especially difficult, even if alcohol itself is not chemically as addictive as the other substance discussed below.



Heroin is a notoriously addictive substance and can be incredibly destructive to an addict’s life. And while heroin use, abuse, and addiction can lead to some incredible movies, the same effects that make for interesting cinema don’t make for situations in real life that anyone would ever want to voluntarily experience.

Furthermore, beyond the effects caused by the heroin use itself, since it is often injected into the bloodstream by users, there are even more dangers associated with this drug. In particular, blood diseases and scarring can end up sticking with heroin users for the rest of their lives, even if they only used this substance a single time.



Defined in slightly differing ways, opiates and opioids are much more alike to each other than dissimilar. The only real difference between the two is that opiates are derived naturally from the opium poppy plant while opioids are any substance that acts like an opiate in that they bind to the brain’s opioid receptors. As you may have surmised, all opioids are opiates, but not all opiates are opioids. And although heroin is itself an opiate, this section is focused on the pharmaceutical creations that have flooded South Dakota in recent decades and includes drugs like fentanyl, oxycodone, and others.

While giving similar effects as heroin, pharmaceutical opioid abuse has spread faster and further than anyone could have imagined, which is why there is so much news coverage about these substances. They come in varying degrees of potency, and some opioids are even more powerful than heroin, which fentanyl being the current most well-known opioid that is causing so many problems among its users.



Since cocaine saw its peak in popularity through the 1980s, many people are often surprised to find out that it still sees widespread use through South Dakota. Likewise, although most people assume that cocaine is only useful as a party drug, many cocaine users are abusing this substance almost -if not- daily. The energy boost and elated emotions can lead people to craving cocaine more and more until they find themselves having difficulty functioning without it.



Methamphetamines (meth) may not be as well known as the other substances on this list, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a meth problem in South Dakota. This is especially true for the state’s rural areas. What may be most surprising about meth use in SD is that the drug isn’t only used by what many people would consider to be as hardcore drug users – people from every demographic now use meth. A large contingent of meth users do so simply for the extra energy that the drug affords, which very often ends up leading to remarkably strong addictions.



Even though marijuana is seeing legalization for both medical and recreational use around the country, that does not mean it is completely safe to use. Furthermore, there is a very common misconception that people can’t get addicted to marijuana. However, that is not nearly the case. This popular substance can lead to bouts of addiction that are as difficult to break for some users as anything else that can be found on the market.


If you or a loved one has developed an addiction to any of these substances, we can help you find a rehab center in South Dakota that will help get your life back on track. Contact us as soon as possible and end the substance abuse that has made it feel like your life is no longer on the right track.