The Scourge of Meth Returns

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An ongoing series on the state of mental health and access to treatment in rural Oklahoma. The project is enabled by a grant from the Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation.

The methamphetamine scourge is spreading again in Oklahoma, with fatal overdoses from the drug spiking last year, according to numbers from the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.

Meth was a factor in 265 deaths in 2015, or nearly a third of all fatal overdoses. The total represented a 157 percent increase since 2010, when 103 deaths were attributed solely or partly to meth.

Learn the full story in the Oklahoma Watch Report by Brad Gibson (audio above). Plus, following is an Oklahoma Watch Report EXTRA, featuring Lance Lang, director of the nonprofit Hope Is Alive in Tulsa.

The number of fatalities keeps climbing despite a dramatic decline in the number of Oklahoma meth lab busts and tighter controls over the sale of decongestants used in manufacturing meth. Law enforcement officials blame the surge in deaths on imports of Mexican “ice,” or methamphetamine.