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Methamphetamine, an illegal drug that sends the body into overdrive, is surging through the United States. Federal drug data provided exclusively to NPR show seizures of meth by authorities have spiked, rising 142% between 2017 and 2018.

In the 25 years since she snorted her first line of methamphetamine at a club in San Francisco, Kim has redefined "normal" many times. At first, she says, it seemed like meth brought her back to her true self — the person she was before her parents divorced, and before her stepfather moved in.

"I felt normal when I first did it, like, 'Oh! There I am,' " she says.

Federal Grants Restricted To Fighting Opioids Miss The Mark, States Say

Jun 13, 2019

In his 40 years of working with people who struggle with addiction, David Crowe has seen various drugs fade in and out of popularity in Pennsylvania's Crawford County.

Methamphetamine use and distribution is a major challenge for the rural area, says Crowe, the executive director of Crawford County Drug and Alcohol Executive Commission. And opioid-related overdoses have killed at least 83 people in the county since 2015, he says.

Drug dealers are increasingly supplying their crack cocaine and ecstasy users with drugs tainted with fentanyl. According to the Hamilton County Heroin Coalition Task Force, that is causing a rash of overdose deaths.

A new report out of the Ohio Substance Abuse Monitoring (OSAM) Network finds that while opioid prescriptions are falling throughout Ohio, methamphetamine remains widely available in the state. In the Cleveland area, powdered cocaine and meth are becoming more available, and the number of clients entering treatment for meth use increased.

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A new report from a group of Ohio researchers documents an explosion in the number of overdose deaths involving methamphetamines and amphetamines.

Principal Mary Ann Hale dreads weekends.

By the time Fridays roll around, 74-year-old Hale, a principal at West Elementary School in McArthur, Ohio, is overcome with worry, wondering whether her students will survive the couple of days away from school.

Too many children in this part of Ohio's Appalachian country live in unstable homes with a parent facing addiction. For years, the community has struggled with opioids. Ohio had the second-highest number of drug overdose deaths per capita in 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Opioid-related deaths have been a primary concern among state officials for years, but the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio has spotted a recent rise in the number of deaths related to Methamphetamine and cocaine. 

New limits on prescription painkillers took effect yesterday. And the state says prescription opioid deaths are down from a peak in 2011, and the number of heroin deaths last year was the same as in 2015. But now, deaths from illicit drugs such as cocaine and meth have spiked.