Arizona experiencing devastating improve in methamphetamine | Sedona.Biz
Prescott AZ (Sept. 14, 2020) – Arizona is seeing a devastating increase in methamphetamine sellers and consumers due to increased drug production and falling costs, according to a new report just released by the Arizona Substance Abuse Partnership (ASAP). Between 2015 and 2019, the retail price of meth decreased 58%, while federal, state and local law enforcement agencies increased seizures of methamphetamine by 342% over the same period. Fatal methamphetamine overdoses have also increased.
Methamphetamine is a powerful, highly addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system. The drug’s ability to rapidly release high levels of dopamine in reward areas of the brain leads to physical and psychological dependence and can lead to substance use disorder.
Treatment programs in the state are also seeing an increase in meth patients. For example, Crossroads, Inc. reports that 40% of customers tested positive for methamphetamine when they entered treatment. In 2019, the AZ Families First Program found that 36% of participants used methane within 30 days of starting the program, followed by marijuana.
There is evidence among Arizona’s youth that electronic cigarettes are being used as a delivery system for methamphetamine. According to AYS 2018 data, e-cigarette use has increased across grade levels since it was first assessed in 2016.
“All of this data combined is an alarming trend for Arizona,” said ASAP chairwoman Yavapai County attorney Sheila Polk. “Accessibility, costs and a lack of education about prevention play a major role in drug use and methamphetamine addiction.”
To this end, the report recommends several steps for the state to take, including increasing the exchange of data between agencies. a nationwide campaign to raise awareness of methamphetamine; and flexibility in funding substance abuse prevention.
“The good news,” says Polk, “is that the state has just awarded MATFORCE funds to oversee a nationwide drug education campaign.” MATFORCE is the Yavapai County Substance Abuse Coalition.
Merilee Fowler, Chief Executive Officer of MATFORCE said, “I am very excited about this opportunity to work with coalitions across Arizona. We know that substance abuse is never just about one drug. Ninety percent of substance use disorders in adults are due to drug use in adolescents. Preventing drug use among adolescents greatly reduces the risk of later addiction. “
The ASAP report is available at the following address: https://goyff.az.gov/sites/default/files/meeting-documents/materials/agenda_item_4_methamphetamine_in_arizona_1.pdf