CNN reporter rides with Calif. deputy to document 'meth hell'

"Every single stop the deputy makes on this shift involves meth,” said reporter Kyung Lah


By Suzie Ziegler 

FRESNO, Calif. — During a graveyard shift this week, Deputy Todd Burk gave CNN reporter Kyung Lah a firsthand look at Fresno County’s methamphetamine crisis. Lah was there to report on the rising meth-related overdose deaths in the city, according to GW Wire

“Methamphetamine is destroying the community. It’s fueling nothing but crimes,” Burk said Tuesday during a CNN report titled 'Fresno's meth hell.'

According to the Fresno County coroner’s office, meth has contributed to more overdose deaths than any other kind of drug. Of the 184 single-drug overdose deaths in 2020, meth was the culprit for 121 of them.  

“Meth has taken control of a large swath of Fresno County,” said CNN.

In between calls, Burk tells Lah about his experiences with meth-users in the community.  

“Even if they want to stop using, they can’t. Their bodies won’t let them,” he says. “It’s so easy to obtain.”

Afterward, Lah said that every single stop she and Burk made that night involved meth. But it’s not just a problem in Fresno County. 

According to CNN, meth use is skyrocketing. In April 2021, one-quarter of overdose deaths nationwide involved meth and other psychostimulants – up nearly 50% from last year. 

But Burk isn’t backing down from the challenge. 

“I want to see someone who’s high on methamphetamine change their life and become a productive citizen,” he told CNN.

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