An National Increase in Meth-Related ER Visits Skips Casper

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Meth-related emergency room visits have increased substantially over the past few years in many jurisdictions across the country. However, that doesn't seem to be the case in Casper.

Ashley Dimit of Central Wyoming Counseling Center says, "we have seen an increase kind of in meth use throughout the year. You know, and we have seen an increase in going to ER visits. We've seen that as well."

Personnel at a local rehab clinic see about 4 to 5 patients every year rushed to the hospital from withdrawal symptoms or other meth-related emergencies.

Daniel Farrer of CWCC says, "typically, that's due to them being in the social detox room that we have in the very beginning. And there's been situations where it's not quite out of their system yet and we've had to take them for their own safety back to the hospital."

One substance abuse therapist says her patients don't always go to the ER for withdrawal symptoms either. As a matter of fact, most of the time, it's for dental pain.

Dimit says, "like abcess in the teeth, you know, they don't have the resources to go to the dentist while they're in treatment. So, they'll go to the er for antibiotics for absesses."

Officer Nickerson of Casper PD says they can't track the number of meth-related overdoses throughout the year because sometimes, that information isn't released at the family's request. However, meth-related arrests have been on the rise, but only slightly.

We did see a slight increase in meth use in general. More arrests and use. It was only about 2-percent in casper, and then statewide it was about 1-percent."

Officer Nickerson says they have a slogan when it comes to the deadly drug... "not even once."

Police say one of the biggest ways to help control the number of future drug overdoses, is by simply educating our youth and raising awareness.