I-Team: Meth making a comeback in the Miami Valley

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Meth's Resurgence | I-Team Investigation

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

A dangerous drug that was prominent in the Miami Valley is making a comeback, a News Center 7 I-Team investigation revealed.

The drug? Meth.

And its return to the area comes on the heels of the opioid crisis.

>> Meth in the Miami Valley: Users are violent, paranoid, psychotic

Montgomery County Sheriff Rob Streck said Mexican drug cartels began reintroducing meth to the mix of drugs they ship to U.S. in response to the current crackdown on opioids.

“They are producing it in laboratories south of the border,” he said. “And while heroin, fentanyl and carfentanyl, that epidemic, can kill you right away because how powerful the drug is...but meth may not kill you as fast, but it will kill you.”

Records from Public Health Dayton/Montgomery County show in recent years far more people who have died from an accidental overdose had meth in their system than those who died 10 years ago.

Meth may not have been the cause of death, but it was present.

Montgomery County Coroner Dr. Kent Harshbarger confirmed that meth takes its toll on the body in different ways that other drugs.

The impact is over a longer period of time. Although it can be lethal at any time under the right circumstances.

“The first use of meth, someone can die of a cardiovascular event, from that stimulant component,” he said. “There's an acute risk if someone uses cocaine or methamphetamine. But methamphetamine carries that over time destruction of the body.”

Danelle Rodgers, a former meth user from Dayton, said the drug made her feel like she was invincible.

But with repeated use, her health began to fail.

“In less than a year of doing meth I almost lost my house,” Rogers said. “My husband just about left. My mom had to take my daughter.”

After repeated attempts to get off of meth, Rodgers made a clean break and now is in recovery.

She said it was only possible with the support of her family and the organization Families of Addicts.

FOA offers support for people who are addicted to opioids, heroin, meth and other drugs. The group also offers support for family members who are trying to help their loved one through recovery.

Rodgers said she now is just happy to have her life back, her daughter back and return to a normal existence.

“I just wouldn't have it any other way,” she said. “I say all of the time that my worse days now are far better than my best days then.”