- Associated Press - Monday, May 16, 2016

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico hospitals have seen a spike in deaths and emergency room visits caused by methamphetamine, a state report shows.

Heroin and prescription opioids account for most overdose deaths in New Mexico, but methamphetamine overdose deaths have been climbing since 2008, The Albuquerque Journal reported (https://bit.ly/1TSsOD9 ), citing a state Department of Health report.

It says in 2009 there were 39 deaths involving methamphetamine. In 2014, the total increased to 111. Meanwhile, the number of amphetamine- and meth-related visits to New Mexico emergency departments increased from 382 in 2010 to 1,097 in 2014.

“Changes in overdose deaths reflect changes in the use of those drugs,” state epidemiologist Dr. Michael Landen said. “We would expect that increased deaths associated with methamphetamine suggest increased use.”

Landen said the increase number of overdoses poses a problem for doctors because there is no way to counteract the effects of the drug.

“For opioids, we have Narcan, or naloxone, to reverse the overdose,” he said.

Landen said testing shows many people who die from meth overdoses also have opioid drugs and heroin in their blood.

Jennifer Weiss-Burke, executive director of Serenity Mesa Youth Recovery Center, said meth is remerging as a popular drug in the state and many addicts use both meth and heroin.

“They will use meth when they want to stay up, then they will use heroin to come down from that so they can sleep,” she said.

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Information from: Albuquerque Journal, https://www.abqjournal.com


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