Methamphetamine Addiction: Statistics And Trends

On the national scene, there is evidence that incidents of Methamphetamine addiction and abuse are decreasing. But, in certain regions of the country, addiction and use are on the rise. Recent revelations about a number of fatalities connected to use give cause for concern of the illegal use of this highly addictive drug.

When the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) was last released in 2012, it was estimated that 1.2 million Americans had used methamphetamine within the previous 12 months. The average age of methamphetamine users was 19.7 years, a frightening statistic by any measure.

The Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) tracks statistics about drug-related events at hospital emergency rooms across the US. According to their 2012 report, Emergency Room visits attributed to Methamphetamine totaled 103,000. In terms of ER visits, this ranked Methamphetamine as the fourth most abused drug in the country. Only cocaine, marijuana and heroin caused more emergency room visits. Although much too high, the 103,000 Methamphetamine ER visits is an encouraging reduction from the 132,576 Meth-related ER visits in 2004.

A report from the Treatment Episode Data Set indicates that 52 percent of primary Methamphetamine admissions were male. 68 percent of admissions were attributed to non-Hispanic Whites.

According to Community Epidemiology Work Group (CEWG), a division of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the highest rates of Methamphetamine use exist in the West and Midwest of the US. Interestingly, hospital admissions caused by Methamphetamine abuse ranked first among drug related admissions in Hawaii and San Diego and second in San Francisco and third in Denver.

Methamphetamine Abuse

Methamphetamine is a controlled substance and is illegal to use for recreational purposes. The most common methods of use are smoking, inhaling or snorting, injection and oral consumption. Of these methods, smoking is the most popular application. However, the method of Meth abuse varies from one geographical region to another and has changed over the past decade.

Smoking and direct injection are the fastest ways to introduce the chemical into the bloodstream. The Methamphetamine user enjoys a “rush.” Smoking and injection are the quickest ways to experience the “flash,” which usually lasts only a short time, but is pleasurable.

Oral ingestion is less intense when the drug is ingested orally or snorted. The effects from snorting last from 3 to 5 minutes compared to the effects from oral ingestion, which effects last from between 15 and 20 minutes.

Users of Meth and many other stimulants understand the “binge and crash” pattern that Methamphetamine creates. Due to the short lifespan of the drug in the bloodstream, users are inclined to continue the high by reloading as soon as the drug’s concentration in the bloodstream diminishes.

Many abusers and addicts indulge in a process known as a “run.” In this application, the abuser forgoes food and sleep and continues to use Methamphetamine. A run takes place over several days and enables the abuser to experience what may seem a sustainable high during the time period.

Statistics Regarding Teen Use

A survey from Monitoring the Future (MTF) reports adolescent drug use statistics and trends. From 1999 through 2012, the use of Methamphetamine by adolescents actually declined. In the 2012 report, MTF indicates that approximately 1 percent of students in the 8th, 10th and 12th grades had used Methamphetamine. This rate represents a decline in use by students in these grades when compared to 2007.

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