In Southern California, one county is seeing more and more senior citizens dying from methamphetamine intoxication.
In 2012, San Diego County health records showed that "a majority of deaths attributed to methamphetamine were among Baby Boomers," NBC San Diego reports; the deaths included 69 people between the ages of 50 and 59 and 13 people older than 60. In 2013, 80 people age 45 to 54, 48 people between 55 and 64, and four people older than 65 had meth-related deaths.
"A lot of grandmas and grandpas are using meth and have been using for many, many years," Diana Julian, program manager for the McAlister Institute in El Cajon, California, told NBC San Diego.
The recent death of a San Diego man brought attention to this growing problem. Carl Salayer, 67, disappeared June 16, and a massive search-and-rescue effort was made to find him. More than a week later his body was discovered by San Diego County Sheriff's Deputies in a field. According to the autopsy, the official cause of death was acute methamphetamine intoxication.
Julian said more older people are taking meth for a variety of factors, including declining health. In some cases, the person doesn't have anyone there willing to help them stop. "For people that are using and they're older, their support has become smaller and smaller throughout the years," she said.