Eight not-so-great reasons to start paying attention to meth
It’s back, and it’s bad. While the opioid epidemic may be front and center, more and more people are becoming hooked on another drug entirely: methamphetamine. Here’s why addiction to that powerfully-addictive stimulant is especially worrisome to drug and alcohol professionals:
1.The rate of overdose deaths involving meth more than tripled from 2011 to 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
2. As meth overdose deaths increase, that number may surpass opioid overdose deaths. For example, in 2017, more people in Texas died from meth overdose (813 deaths) than heroin overdose (519 deaths).
3. Meth users tend to abuse other substances, which makes it hard for first responders to know which overdose to treat. Heart attack, stroke or seizure…what kind of drug overdose should we be treating here??
4. Medical providers have very few pharmaceutical tools to help methamphetamine users survive an overdose and recover. There’s no Narcan to reverse a meth overdose, and there’s no medication-assisted treatment to help ease meth users into recovery.
5. Long-term meth use can alter the brain and cause psychotic symptoms that may take up to one year to subside after use stops.
6. Meth has become increasingly easy to find in the eastern region of the United States, no thanks to Mexican drug cartels.
7. The Drug Enforcement Administration is seeing the reports that the price of meth is the lowest in years that the agency has seen.
8. It’s not only cheaper, it’s more potent. Today’s meth is more than 90 percent pure.
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