U.S. Meth Overdose Deaths Tripled in Recent Years

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By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Sept. 23, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Deaths from methamphetamine overdoses successful the United States astir tripled betwixt 2015 and 2019, wellness officials study successful a caller study.

While the fig of methamphetamine users did not summation arsenic steeply, researchers said predominant usage of methamphetamine, and utilizing different drugs astatine the aforesaid time, whitethorn person contributed to the summation successful overdose deaths. Meth users person besides go much diverse, according to the report.

"We are successful the midst of an overdose situation successful the United States, and this tragic trajectory goes acold beyond an opioid epidemic. In summation to heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine are becoming much unsafe owed to contamination with highly potent fentanyl, and increases successful higher hazard usage patterns specified arsenic aggregate substance usage and regular use," said researcher Dr. Nora Volkow, manager of the U.S. National Institute connected Drug Abuse.

In 2020, much than 93,000 Americans died from cause overdoses, the largest one-year summation connected record. The summation was mostly driven by overdoses involving synthetic opioids, chiefly fentanyl, but overdoses involving methamphetamine were besides significant.

To measure trends successful methamphetamine use, researchers analyzed origin of decease files from the National Vital Statistics System and 2015-2019 information connected adults 18 to 64 from the National Survey connected Drug Use and Health.

From that clip period, the investigators recovered the fig of overdose deaths involving drugs different than cocaine, mostly methamphetamine, roseate from much than 5,500 to astir 15,500, a 180% increase. The fig of radical who reported utilizing methamphetamine, however, accrued by 43%.

Also, radical who said they often utilized methamphetamine roseate 66% betwixt 2015 and 2019, and the fig of radical who utilized methamphetamine and cocaine unneurotic accrued 60%.

Since 2017, much methamphetamine users reported higher-risk usage patterns, specified arsenic having methamphetamine usage upset and/or injecting methamphetamine, which whitethorn beryllium contributing to the uptick successful meth overdose deaths, the researchers said.

Historically, methamphetamine has mostly been utilized by middle-aged achromatic people, but present American Indians/Alaska Natives are the biggest users of the drug, according to the report.

"Public wellness approaches indispensable beryllium tailored to code methamphetamine usage crossed the divers communities astatine risk, and peculiarly for American Indian and Alaska Native communities, who person the highest hazard for methamphetamine misuse and are excessively often underserved," Volkow said successful an institute quality release.

Also, the prevalence of methamphetamine usage upset among those who did not inject the cause accrued 10 times among Black radical from 2015 to 2019, a overmuch steeper summation than among achromatic oregon Hispanic people.

Methamphetamine usage has been linked to HIV transmission done needle-sharing and engaging successful unprotected intersexual enactment often associated with meth use. Researchers recovered the prevalence of methamphetamine injection was the highest among homosexual men. Methamphetamine usage upset without injection much than doubled among homosexual oregon bisexual men. And it much than tripled among heterosexual women and lesbian oregon bisexual women, and much than doubled among heterosexual men.

The investigation besides recovered that methamphetamine usage upset without injection quadrupled successful young adults ages 18 to 23.

"What makes these information adjacent much devastating is that currently, determination are nary approved medications to dainty methamphetamine usage disorder," researcher Emily Einstein, main of NIDA's Science Policy Branch, said successful the release.

The study was published online Sept. 22 successful the diary JAMA Psychiatry.

More information

The U.S. National Institute connected Drug Abuse has much connected methamphetamine abuse.

SOURCE: U.S. National Institute connected Drug Abuse, quality release, Sept. 22, 2021

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