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Updated: March 1, 2022
California's Quiet Meth Addiction Crisis
Addiction is a problem throughout the country, and California is no exception. Much of the focus around the country has been placed on fentanyl use. After all, fentanyl overdoses outrank all other drug addiction deaths. However, meth addiction has been rising steadily in the past several years. As a result, overdoses have been increasing as well.
Meth’s Growing Popularity
Pop culture such as the popular show Breaking Bad has helped glorify meth use even as it portrayed characters stuck in horrific cycles of addiction. As pop culture brought a resurgence of popularity to meth, cartels have created more pure products as a result. This has made meth more addictive and more likely to cause an overdose.
According to the California Overdose Dashboard, deaths from illicit psychostimulants such as methamphetamine increased more than 250 percent between 2008 and 2015. California is, after all, a popular state to traffic drugs through. The Central Valley is considered one of the most active meth markets in the US. Some of the meth is manufactured in California, but now it is often more likely to have been made in Mexico and distributed through trafficking networks.
Meth and Fentanyl: A Fatal Combination
Drug dealers often use fentanyl as an adulterant to other drugs to make it more addictive or more potent. For inexperienced opioid users, this can be a fatal decision. It’s caused people to overdose on drugs like meth or cocaine more often. Combining uppers with downers is also more likely to cause a heart attack.
Many people who take meth with fentanyl don’t know that they’re doing it. However, some meth users also use other hard drugs like heroin or fentanyl.
Many harm reduction proponents recommend all drugs users consider acquiring Naloxone, an opioid reversal drug. Some people even use fentanyl testing strips to test for the presence of fentanyl in other drugs.
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