CDC: More Utahns are dying from meth overdoses than fentanyl ODs

Oct 25, 2019, 7:05 PM
Meth overdoses surpass opioids...
(Photo: Getty Images)
(Photo: Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Opioid overdoses have been in the headlines for years. But a new report from the Centers for Disease Control says there are more methamphetamine overdose deaths in Utah than those from fentanyl.

The CDC analysis of death certificates shows meth is driving fatal overdoses in the western states, while fentanyl overdoses kill more people in the east.

Meghan Balough with the Utah Department of Health is not surprised at the findings.

“Just this last year, we had 217 deaths that involved methamphetamine,” Balough said.

That is a 1,200% increase from 2000 and at least 35% of all overdose deaths In Utah last year.

Balough says most overdose victims are using another drug besides meth.

“A lot of people who use opioids regularly use methamphetamine,” Balough says.

That combination of drugs can trigger heart attacks and other health problems.

It’s unclear exactly why meth has been involved in so many fatal overdoses, but one reason may be because a fentanyl overdose can be quickly reversed with the Narcan spray, which many law enforcement, firefighters, and EMTs carry. There is no comparable drug to reverse a methamphetamine overdose.

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CDC: More Utahns are dying from meth overdoses than fentanyl ODs