LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A new study conducted by the U.S. Drug Test Centers shows Nevada is one of the top 20 most impacted states dealing with the current drug epidemic in America. Nevada is the 16th most-affected state and number nine in the U.S. with the highest rate of illicit drug use.
The ranking was determined by comparing data for all states in four areas: illicit drug use, drug overdose deaths, substance use disorder, and arrests for drug offenses.
Experts say no matter how hard the drug abuse issue gets, they will continue to tackle the problem.
“A couple of months we’ll really see a lot of it coming through and sometimes not as much,” said Daniel Neill, assistant special agent in charge of Drug Enforcement Administration.
Neill works with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). According to him, in a year, he used to see a few hundred pounds of methamphetamine in southern Nevada alone.
“We actually seized a few hundred pounds in one month,” Neil said. “That kind of goes the same way with oxycodone 30 milligrams tablets laced with Fentanyl.”
While there used to be a problem with meth labs in the valley, the production of the product has started to slow.
“We’re seeing record numbers of methamphetimines being produced out of Mexico and then being brought into our valley,” Neil said.
8 News NOW spoke to Mel Pohl, the chief medical officer at the Las Vegas Recovery Center, and he says he’s not shocked by the recent study.
“We want to be starting with 6-7 years old,” Pohl said. “We want to begin the conversation well before high school years.”
The states that see the most impact from the current drug epidemic include New Hampshire, West Virginia, Maine, Colorado, Vermont, North Dakota, Indiana, Connecticut, Louisiana, and Washington D.C.