This week Arizona 360 looked into an ongoing trend in Arizona: increasing meth seizures at the southern border. Demand for the drug remains prevalent across the country. Nationwide, seizures have doubled over the last four years, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Arizona 360 heard from the family of a 27-year-old woman who recently died after struggling with addiction to meth and opioids for several years. The Pima County Coroner's Office ruled Kelsey Beitel's death a drowning. Her parents, Jerry and Louise Beitel, blame drugs for sending their daughter on a downward spiral that resulted in her death.
"We know that our daughter was in there somewhere, but those drugs — she was basically a prisoner to those drugs in the end," Louise Beitel said.
The Beitels said they wish they had more authority over Kelsey's treatment, but they were unable to act because she was an adult. The couple is now advocating for legislative change that will allow others to intervene on behalf of a relative dealing with substance abuse.
"When you're on these drugs … you're not in that cognitive state of mind to make a rational decision for your safety or health," Jerry Beitel said.