USA: Meth Fueled ‘4th Wave Drug Addiction’ – Cant Treat Your Way Out of This!

Spread the love

The ‘fourth wave’ of drug addiction: Surge in meth could bring drug overdose death rates back up

by Kimberly Leonard  January 31, 2020

A top Trump administration health official is worried that meth-related deaths will counterbalance the progress the United States has made in reducing drug-overdose deaths.

Dr. Brett Giroir, assistant secretary for health, said in an interview Thursday that early data from 2019, which goes into June, indicates that meth-related deaths are increasing by about 25-30%. The trend is particularly concerning because meth is highly addictive, and people cannot be treated for meth with medicine in the same way they can for opioid addictions.

“We are seeing meth sweep across the country,” Giroir said, referring to the trend as the “fourth wave” of drug addiction seen in America after prescription painkillers, heroin, and fentanyl.

Giroir’s comments came just hours after the release of a trove federal data indicating that in 2018, the number of people who died from drug overdoses had fallen, a first in roughly two decades. That data showed that meth had increased fivefold since 2012, but it did not contain the information about 2019 that Giroir was referring to.

Meth is being manufactured in hundreds of thousands of pounds by Mexican drug cartels. The West first saw a jump in meth use that is now hitting the Midwest. Giroir said he was concerned the drug would become more prevalent in the East Coast next and could even overtake heroin and cocaine in the number of deaths.

“We anticipate in the next few months, it will overtake heroin and cocaine,” Giroir said. Drug deaths will be hard to parse out, however, because people use meth and fentanyl, a highly potent opioid, together. Often, Giroir said, people don’t know their drugs have been tainted. The same problem has been observed with cocaine. People who are addicted to drugs tend to use several different kinds at a time or take whatever they can get access to.

About half of the deaths from meth also involve fentanyl, Giroir said.

The 2019 data could signal that the good news from 2018 will be short-lived. Earlier in the day, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that deaths from drug overdoses dropped from 70,237 in 2017 to 67,367 in 2018. Of those, 46,802 were caused by opioids, versus 12,676 by meth.

Giroir said new data indicated prescriptions of opiates were down nearly 35% from 2017 and said he has been holding webinars with doctors to make sure they carefully wean people off opioids rather than abruptly cut them off. There has also been a wider distribution of naloxone, an overdose-reversal drug that people can get over the counter in many states. An estimated 1.3 million people in America are on medication that helps fight the symptoms of withdrawal, an increase of just under 40% since 2017.

“We are extremely pleased, but we are not taking our foot off the gas,” Giroir said.

For complete story

Leave a Reply