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Methamphetamine Use, Overdose Deaths, and Arrests Soared from 2015-19

Updated: Oct 7, 2022

The use of the stimulant methamphetamine, as well as related overdose deaths and arrests, rose sharply from 2015 to 2019, with some states being particularly hard hit, according to Pew’s analysis of federal and state statistics. This reality highlights the need for improved responses to a worsening public health problem. The general response to these trends highlights a reliance on the criminal legal system that has often proved costly and ineffective. Meaningful reductions in drug possession arrests and drug-related deaths may not be achieved without shifting to a public health response that prioritizes evidence-based approaches to treatment and harm reduction. Cont.

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