Meth seizures in the US increased by nearly 150 percent between 2017 and 2018, a new report reveals.
US authorities seized 67,757 kilograms of powerful stimulant methamphetamine last year, compared to just over 28,000 in 2017, the NPR analysis found.
The drug has also been involved in a growing number of deaths from overdoses, rising to nearly 13,000 deaths in 2018.
Even when public health officials celebrate the long-awaited fall of opioid deaths, drugs such as meth have a shadowy resurgence and experts warn that the US may be on the verge of its next drug epidemic.
A DEA map shows the hotspots that US officials are monitoring for an increase in drug trafficking – especially meth, whose catches increased by 150 percent in 2018, NPR reported
Methamphetamine – the same drug infamous by Walter White in the fictional TV series, Breaking Bad – has been largely ignored because Americans panicked about the opioid epidemic.
At the height of the nervous system depression epidemic, at least 70,690 people were killed in the US in 2017.
Nationally, public health officials and enforcement agencies have relieved relief over the past year when the death toll finally dropped.
Americans get and take fewer prescribed painkillers and, although fentanyl continues to enter the US through illegal channels, programs for the distribution of naloxone, the opioid overdose drug, have saved many lives.
Opioids slow the entire nervous system, meaning that even an experienced user can stop breathing within a few minutes of taking it, especially if they have taken fentanyl (intentionally or unknowingly).
Methamphetamine – the same substance used in medicines to treat ADHD – is less deadly, but still dangerous.
The stimulus feeds faster heart beats, suppresses appetite and engulfs the brain with euphoria and increases energy.
Meth is very addictive and can kill brain cells or cause cardiac arrhythmias, heart attacks or strokes.
And even if the police receive fewer calls for opioid overdoses, they see more calls for meth emergencies.
& # 39; It is better than what we see of heroin and fentanyl, & # 39; Bradley Osgood, head of Concord, told New Hampshire police to NPR.
& # 39; The increase in meth is just incredible. & # 39;
His department and those across the country are confronted with people who are unusually aggressive and powerful thanks to their meth highs.
Police, drug enforcement agencies and cartels all double their focus on meth, even for the users in whose hands the drugs end up.
& # 39; Epileptic seizures indicate an increase in trade in these drugs & # 39 ;, John Eadie, Public Health Coordinator of the Federal Government's National Emerging Threats Initiative, told NPR.
& # 39; So if attacks have more than doubled, this probably means more than double trafficking in methamphetamine.
& # 39; And with that there are extra deaths. & # 39;
Certain parts of the country, such as the Midwest, are known for meth-chefs and explosions of the dangerous process with which the drug is made.
Experts told NPR, however, that it largely finds its way to the US along the same routes as fentanyl and heroin traveling from Mexico.
And human traffickers will probably only dump more meth in those channels.
& # 39; They are studying trends, just like people are studying the stock market here & # 39 ;, Jon DeLenaj, a special DEA agent told NPR.
& # 39; They know what the next trend will be and sometimes force that trend on people.
& # 39; And that is exactly what they do in this case. & # 39;
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