These days, opioids like Oxycodone and fentanyl get more headlines related to arrests, addiction and overdose deaths. But a drug that has been on the scene for longer — methamphetamine — poses the greatest danger of all in Oklahoma, according to a recent news report.
Far more methamphetamine overdoses
In 2021, meth overdoses killed 603 people in Oklahoma. Fentanyl was responsible for 299 fatalities, and Oxycodone overdoses claimed 43 lives. And the meth problem is getting worse. When measured by deaths per 100,000 people, unintentional meth overdoses rose faster from 2019-20 than any opioid.
Unless you are facing meth-related drug charges or are otherwise directly affected, it might seem like Oklahoma’s meth problem disappeared several years ago. Experts say that is because laws passed in the early 2000s, including one requiring drug stores to keep Sudafed behind the counter, essentially killed off home-grown meth production. But international drug cartels filled the void. Meanwhile, many opioid addicts, frightened by the overdose risk of fentanyl and fentanyl-laced drugs, turn to meth as a “safe” alternative.
Unique to Oklahoma?
Meth use is not even across the country. From 2018-20, fewer than 1 percent of Americans over age 26 used meth. But 1.4 percent of Oklahomans did, with an even higher percentage of Oklahoma County residents using.
Addiction can lead people to do desperate things and risk getting into trouble with the law. At the same time, people can get falsely accused and arrested on bogus drug charges. Whatever the circumstances of your drug crime arrest, you need sound legal advice and representation in court to give yourself a chance at a fair outcome.