Oct 28, 2019

The West has a meth problem

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals

Santa Ana police officers inspecting crystal meth and tools for stealing cars in 2016. Photo: Leonard Ortiz/Digital First Media/Orange County Register via Getty Images

Methamphetamine led to more drug overdose deaths in 19 western states in 2017 than fentanyl, according to a new report from the CDC.

Between the lines: This was the first time that the CDC has broken down regional differences in overdose deaths by drug, the Wall Street Journal writes.

  • Nationally, meth was the 4th-most common cause of overdose deaths. Fentanyl was most common.

What they're saying: "It has important implications around what we do for prevention and where resources need to go," Holly Hedegaard, an author of the CDC report, told the WSJ. "Clearly, not all drug problems are the same."

What we're watching: The meth overdose rate has risen from 0.6 fatalities per 100,000 people in 2011 to 2.9 in 2017 — a growth trajectory similar to what researchers saw with heroin and fentanyl.

Go deeper: The opioid epidemic's kids crisis in West Virginia

Go deeper

Private companies cut 2.8 million jobs in May

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Private companies shed 2.8 million U.S. jobs last month, according to a report from payroll processor ADP and Moody’s Analytics.

Why it matters: It's way less than the nearly 9 million private sector jobs economists estimated would be lost in May, suggesting layoffs during the coronavirus crisis could be slowing sooner than Wall Street expected.

The growing focus on environmental justice could influence Biden's platform

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The killing of George Floyd in police custody and protests against systemic racism are prompting many green groups to declare their support for racial justice, and one thing to watch now is how this all might influence Joe Biden's platform.

Driving the news: Even before the recent mass upheaval in response to Floyd's death, Biden said he was expanding outreach and eyeing wider plans around environmental justice, or the disproportionate pollution burdens facing poor communities and people of color.

4 hours ago - Technology

The slippery slope of protest surveillance

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump's call to treat antifa supporters like terrorists could be a green light for high-tech surveillance of dissidents.

Why it matters: It's unlikely the Trump administration can designate antifa as a terrorist group in any legally meaningful way, but the declaration gives law enforcement tacit approval to use a plethora of tech tools to monitor protesters and left-leaning activists.