In Arkansas, overdose from methamphetamine is a problem. The Arkansas State Crime Lab shows a significant increase in deaths related to methamphetamine, fentanyl, and co-occurring use of methamphetamine and fentanyl over the past decade.
In 2022 qualitative research from the Harm Reduction Journal, consistent methamphetamine users separate overdosing from “over-ramping.” Over-ramping is described as a state after methamphetamine use where the body becomes overstimulated, causing the user to go to sleep due to overstimulation. Overdosing from methamphetamine, however, is largely due to heatstroke and heart failure. As the body’s temperature rises, organs shut down. During a meth overdose, it is also common for a sharp increase in blood pressure, leading to hemorrhage. There are currently no antidotes for methamphetamine overdose, although researchers from UAMS are working on a drug that would counter the effects of methamphetamine use disorder.
As meth has become more potent, people distributing it have found more ways to conceal it. Meth has been found hidden in various car parts and dissolved in vehicle fluids.
The Centers of Disease Control (CDC) reports drug overdose deaths in several categories. The psychostimulant category includes methamphetamine, Ritalin, caffeine, and amphetamines. In 2016, 7,542 deaths were reported, just a year later, that number increased to 10,333.