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Meth is most common drug in overdose deaths in chunk of US

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    FILE - This Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019 file photo shows a display of the fentanyl and meth that was seized by Customs and Border Protection officers at the Nogales Port of Entry, during a news conference in Nogales, Ariz. According to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday, Oct. 25, 2019, fentanyl is driving drug overdose deaths in the U.S. overall, but in nearly half of the country, it’s a different story. Meth is the bigger killer. (Mamta Popat/Arizona Daily Star via AP)

Published October 25. 2019 05:34AM

 

NEW YORK — Fentanyl is driving drug overdose deaths in the U.S. overall, but in nearly half of the country, it’s a different story. Meth is the bigger killer, a new government report shows.

Nationwide, most deaths still involve opioid drugs like fentanyl and heroin. But in 2017, the stimulant meth was the drug most frequently involved in deaths in four regions that include 19 states west of the Mississippi.

The report released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is the agency’s first geographic breakdown of deaths by drug. It’s based on 2017 figures when there were more than 70,000 overdose deaths in the U.S., two-thirds of them involving opioids.

Fentanyl was involved in 39% of the deaths that year, followed by heroin, 23%, and cocaine, 21%. Those drugs top the list in the eastern part of the country.

Methamphetamine was No. 4 nationwide, cited in 13% of overdose deaths. But in the four western regions, it was No. 1, at 21% to 38%.

Previous CDC reports have charted meth’s increasing toll, noting that it rose from eighth to fourth in just four years.

The new report found dramatic differences in the 10 regions. For example, In New England, fentanyl had the highest adjusted overdose death rate and meth was a distant 10th on the list. In the region that includes the mountain states and the Dakotas, meth was No. 1 and fentanyl was sixth.

Most of the meth in the U.S. is made in Mexico and smuggled across the border — U.S. production has actually been declining in recent years, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. Its availability has held at high levels in recent years in areas of the Southwest, and has increased in some areas of the Midwest, the agency’s field offices report.

Final 2018 data has not yet been released, but preliminary figures suggest that overdose deaths involving meth increased.

The CDC report is based on a search of overdose death certificates for the name of drugs. In many cases, a person was taking multiple drugs.

Since the report is the first of its kind, how meth factored into overdose deaths regionally in the past isn’t known.

New Mexico has seen a shift. For years, black tar heroin was the biggest problem, then prescription painkillers, said Dr. Michael Landen of the state’s health department. State meth deaths went from 150 in 2017 to 194 last year, vaulting meth to the top.

“It’s really been the first time we’ve seen that,” said Landen.

He attributed the surge in meth to its wide availability and low cost, and said he worried it could get worse. While there are programs to deal with fentanyl and heroin overdoses, there’s not much in place to prevent meth deaths, he said.

“I think we’re potentially going to be caught off guard with methamphetamine deaths, and we have to get our act together,” he said.

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The Associated Press Health & Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

 

Comments
Find a way to sue a large corporation to cover the cost of this.
"Most of the meth in the U.S. is made in Mexico and smuggled across the border"
There is the reason the Democrats don't want that wall built, they want open borders.
These socialist/communist Democrats want you folks addicted, it helps them stake claim to your pathetic situation... they can then call you a victim and run to your aid. Wake up you sleepers! Not with Meth either. Open your eyes.
Education time!

Not only have large corporations been sued about Meth, they have been successfully sued about Meth! Why do you think you need to show your license and sign a log when buying sudafed? CVS in particular was hit for $75 million.

I doubt it is coming across land borders with any real volume but the main problem is we lack treatment programs for Meth. Opioids have gotten all the attention.
You folks get educated on Motherjones.com or democraticunderground.com
I on the other hand, go off recent data and news releases.
If the CVS is no longer the source due to the crack down, why would you go there?
Come on Joe...
Perhaps you need treatment from injesting all the Fake News.
If CVS was hit way back in 2010 with the $75M for meth related activity, why would you bring them in to the problem today? That was fixed right?
Now you know Joe, that the lab rats using ingredients from prescription drugs are the small time locals. The majority of meth and ingredients to manufacture come up over that southern boarder. Stop rehashing old news Joe.
Lies. It's coming through the legal, patrolled ports of our east coast from China. Keep voting, you uninformed toad.
Yeah, you're right comrade...
Why would a smuggler pass up the free and easy open boarder for a patrolled and secure legal port of entry? Does that make sense to you? Figures.
Truth is, they're getting in what they can now before the wall goes up.
Building that wall is only part of it, but it's a big part of it.
Hey Comrade,
Inquiries into Justice Department and the FBI under Barack Obama has become a full-fledged criminal investigation now. This is getting good! Pass the popcorn.
Because they can bring a whole cargo container full at a port. Walking across the border would be a pretty inefficient way to supply a country the size of the us
Bingo...There was just a large bust this summer in the Philly port. Much easier to bribe officials to bring the drugs into the country in bulk.
Bingo...
Look up Sen. Bob Menendez as he was trying to intervene with the state department on behalf of his friend Dr. Salomon Melgen. Melgen owned in on a security firm in Dominican Republic. Look it up!
https://www.insidernj.com/menendez-trial-prosecution-focuses-port-security-contract/

Old news... yes, but pertainent yes
Joe,
Dr. Melgen donated $60K to Menendez’s legal defense fund. Menendez got involved in port security issues in the Dominican Republic. Melgen's one business, got a contract with the government in the Dominican Republic for screening cargo at the island’s ports. The agreement was corrupt, permitted unchecked cargo to flow into US. Look this up. I mention this, as it is pertinent. Drug smuggling, ports, Menendez.
You just fight against anything I post. Do you have a hatred toward me? I think I've upset you in the past, perhaps with a logical and truth filled post? Come on Joe... Stop it!
Mike just so you know a little more about Mother Jones. Mary G. Harris Jones (known as Mother Jones -yes a woman of the late 1800's and early 1900's) was co-founder of organized labor in this country.

I must say C-T, I really do get a kick out of your comments now & then.

And Joe you are so intelligent and kinda serious. Add a few funny lines once in a while will ya. :)

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