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NEW YORK (AP) — Fentanyl is driving drug overdose deaths in the U.S. general, but in almost half of the nation, it is a various story. Meth is the larger killer, a new government report shows.

Nationwide, most deaths nonetheless involve opioid drugs like fentanyl and heroin. But in 2017, the stimulant meth was the drug most often involved in deaths in 4 regions that contain 19 states west of the Mississippi.

The report released Friday by the Centers for Illness Handle and Prevention is the agency’s very first geographic breakdown of deaths by drug. It is primarily based on 2017 figures when there have been far 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%. These drugs leading the list in the eastern element of the nation.

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

Prior CDC reports have charted meth’s rising toll, noting that it rose from eighth to fourth in just 4 years.

The new report located dramatic variations in the 10 regions. For instance, In New England, fentanyl had the highest adjusted overdose death price and meth was a distant 10th on the list. In the area that consists of the mountain states and the Dakotas, meth was No. 1 and fentanyl was sixth.

Map shows meth and fentanyl drug overdose deaths by area in 2017 (AP Graphics)

Most
of the meth in the U.S. is produced in Mexico and smuggled across the
border — U.S. production has in fact been declining in current years,
according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. Its availability has held
at higher levels in current years in regions of the Southwest, and has
elevated in some regions of the Midwest, the agency’s field offices
report.

Final 2018 information has not but been released, but preliminary figures recommend that overdose deaths involving meth elevated.

The
CDC report is primarily based on a search of overdose death certificates for the
name of drugs. In several instances, a particular person was taking several drugs.

Considering that the report is the very first of its type, how meth factored into overdose deaths regionally in the previous is not recognized.

New
Mexico has noticed a shift. For years, black tar heroin was the most significant
trouble, then prescription painkillers, stated Dr. Michael Landen of the
state’s overall health division. State meth deaths went from 150 in 2017 to
194 final year, vaulting meth to the leading.

“It’s truly been the very first time we’ve noticed that,” stated Landen.

He
attributed the surge in meth to its wide availability and low price, and
stated he worried it could get worse. Whilst there are applications to deal
with fentanyl and heroin overdoses, there’s not considerably in location to avoid
meth deaths, he stated.

“I feel we’re potentially going to be caught off guard with methamphetamine deaths, and we have to get our act with each other,” he stated.

By Mike Stobbe



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