Meth-related deaths on the rise in Georgia

Source: WGCL

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation reports an increase in methamphetamine-related deaths.

Deaths are up 40% from 2016 (243 people) to 2017 (343 people).

"It’s a real issue here in Georgia," said GBI spokesperson Nelly Miles. "We don’t want to minimize the fact that there is still an opioid problem, still an opioid crisis and the streets of Georgia definitely continue to see that, but we just want to make sure the public is aware with what's going on with methamphetamine," said Miles.

"This is a drug that wreaks havoc on the central nervous system, it increase your heart rate, it increases your body temperature and it really keeps your heart out of sync with your body," said Miles.

Miles said they're seeing meth in all parts of the state.

Deneen Kilcrease, the GBI's chemistry section manager, said meth makes up 46 percent of all the drugs tested in their lab.

"Methamphetamine has been our number one drug since 2013 – it’s a huge problem in our state," said Kilcrease. "The sheer volume of methamphetamine cases that we see is astounding and it continues to be our number one drug and we continue to get increasing amounts of it.”

Sarah Mangold knows all too well how addictive the drug is. She used meth and heroin for about 15 years. She has been clean for nine months.

"Meth has always been there. Ever since I started using it was very prominent, easy to get, it's cheaper, it's kind of like the go-to," she said.

She wants others to learn from what she went through.

"It's extremely addictive. You feel like Superman on it, you feel like you can do anything," she said.

Mangold isn't surprised that meth-related deaths are up in Georgia.

"I know that if I use again I will die," she said.

She sends this message to anyone thinking about trying meth:

"It's not worth it, I promise you it's not worth it at all.”

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