Medical examiner warns of rising meth threat

Dr. Thomas Gilson

(Cleveland) - Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas Gilson reports the Regional Science Forensic Laboratory has seen an increase in methamphetamine tested within the past year. 

 "Methamphetamine, a powerful stimulant, is becoming more prevalent in the seized drugs we are analyzing. We have not seen an increase in deaths from methamphetamine, our overarching problem there remains the opioids like fentanyl and the re-emergence of cocaine," Dr. Gilson told Newsradio WTAM 1100. "But the appearance of methamphetamine is disturbing, as it has disastrous effects on people's personal health and social well-being.”

Meth is a highly addictive stimulant that can lead to long-term consequences such as weight loss, severe dental decay, open sores, and heart and brain damage.

Dr. Gilson said the types of methamphetamine that have been seen include: Methamphetamine tablets (Fake ecstasy pills) in which incidents have double in Cuyahoga County, and crystal methamphetamine, which has more than quadrupled. 

He explained that evidence of meth usage has been relatively rare in Cuyahoga County, and hopes this is not the beginning of a troubling trend. 

As with any illegal drug, there is no regulation or quality control. Therefore, someone taking a drug cannot know for sure they are taking what has been advertised to them. 

Furthermore, they don’t know the potency of the drug, which can lead to serious consequences.

Dr. Gilson urged anyone in need of additional information about drug addiction recovery should contact the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board of Cuyahoga County on their 24-hour crisis hotline at 216-623-6888.

(Photos by Ken Robinson/WTAM)

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