The highly addictive drug methamphetamine does not discriminate by age, gender or ethnicity when it comes to destroying lives.
But a growing body of research also indicates that women use and react to meth differently than men, often with more dangerous consequences.
A review of numerous studies by Northeast Ohio Medical University researchers revealed that, compared to men, women tend to fall into meth use earlier in life. They become more dependent on the drug, are more likely to make meth their drug of choice, and are more likely to suffer depression as a result of meth use.
However, several studies also have shown that women are more capable of quitting meth and show a stronger response to treatment.
To examine the issue from a personal angle, South Dakota News Watch reporter Bart Pfankuch found five South Dakota women willing to share their stories of meth addiction. Two were interviewed in prison, one is on parole, and two are years beyond their last use and are now working in treatment or prevention.