New Orleans Coroner, Dr. Dwight McKenna, said the national rate of methamphetamine
overdose deaths shot up significantly between 2011-2018. Rates rose for both men and women,
but more so among men. While much attention is focused on the opioid crisis, a methamphetamine
crisis has been quietly but actively, picking up.
Dr. McKenna says that use of methamphetamine is highly toxic. Using it will be associated with
pulmonary and cardiovascular pathology and frequently co-occurs with other substance abuse
and mental disorders.
Also, there are currently no Food and Drug Administration approved medications to reverse
methamphetamine overdose or treatment. Consider this, approximately 80% of users are
between the ages of 25 and 54 years old. Associated death rates may be underestimated
because some death certificates do not report specific drugs involved.
Identifying those that have a higher rate of methamphetamine overdose is a crucial step
toward curbing the underlying methamphetamine crisis, Dr. McKenna says.