According to a new study published in JAMA Psychiatry, methamphetamine (meth) overdose deaths in the U.S. rose sharply from 2011 to 2018. The research was conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health.
The rapid rise in deaths was observed in all racial and ethnic groups, with Native Americans being the hardest hit. Non-Hispanic Blacks also saw particularly steep increases in overdose death rates during this period.
Methamphetamine (meth) is a powerful, highly addictive drug that causes devastating health effects and sometimes death, even on the first try.
It is often combined with other drugs that can be smoked, injected, snorted, or taken orally. While users often report a temporary sense of heightened euphoria, alertness, and energy, meth often affects the body's systems in dangerous ways that can be fatal, including increasing heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and respiratory rate. Chronic meth users frequently experience anxiety, confusion, insomnia, paranoia, aggression, visual and auditory hallucinations, mood disturbances, and delusions.[i]
"While much attention is focused on the opioid crisis, a methamphetamine crisis has been quietly, but actively, gaining steam—particularly among American Indians and Alaska Natives, who are disproportionately affected by a number of health conditions," said Nora D. Volkow, M.D., NIDA director and a senior author of the study.
According to recent national data, most meth users are adults, 25-54 years of age. There are currently no FDA approved medications that can help curb this addiction – though there are some potentially helpful drugs under study. Behavioral therapies have shown promise.
If you're struggling with an addiction to methamphetamine, other drugs, or alcohol and need help in Connecticut, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Florida, or Southern Maine, the recovery teams at Aware Recovery Care are here to help. Our unique, Yale-inspired in-home model of care gives clients a significantly better chance of recovery than traditional inpatient rehab care. And Aware is covered by most major insurers. To learn more, please contact one of our Recovery Specialists.