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FLORENCE — A 49-year-old female inmate of the Pinal County jail who admitted using meth died Wednesday, hours after being arrested. 

The woman was found unresponsive in her cell at about 2 a.m. Jail officials said emergency life-saving measures were performed, but she never regained consciousness. 
 
Her name is being withheld until the next of kin is notified. 

She was arrested by state Department of Public Safety officers at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday for allegedly driving while impaired. DPS officials declined Wednesday to discuss where she was arrested or other details of her case. Authorities said that while she was being booked into jail she admitted to using methamphetamine before her arrest. 

The Pinal County Sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Bureau has not determined if her drug use contributed to the cause of death and no signs of foul play have been found. 

Abusers of meth can experience suicidal thoughts, anxiety and feelings of remorse when the drug’s euphoria starts to wane, according to Casa Grande Alliance Executive Director Breanna Boland. 

She added the drug’s extreme high impairs the brain’s pre-frontal cortex, which is responsible for decision-making. Dopamine levels increase dramatically and overpower what normally gives an addict pleasure such as eating.   

Meth has been on the Casa Grande Alliance’s radar since around 2006. Boland said about 3.5 percent of local youth admitted to trying the drug at that time.

Use among youths has decreased since then by 85 percent, but meth continues to be one of the top drugs of choice for adults.

Read full story here. 

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