According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), "methamphetamine (meth) is a powerful, highly addictive stimulant (drug) that affects the central nervous system. It takes the form of a white, odorless, bitter-tasting crystalline powder that easily dissolves in water or alcohol."
Sadly, it's not only highly addictive – it's also an increasingly frequent killer.
According to a new report from NIDA published in JAMA Psychiatry, overdose deaths from meth more than tripled from 2015 to 2019.
Paradoxically, meth consumption during that time increased, but at a much slower rate.
So, what's going on?
Addiction specialists speculate that higher-risk uses of meth, a rise in meth abuse disorder, and the simultaneous use of other drugs is to blame for the rising deaths.
The research team studied data on overdose deaths involving psychostimulants in the cause of death files in the National Vital Statistics System to conduct the study. They also looked at meth use among U.S. adults ages 18 to 64 in the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
The NIDA team found that from 2015 to 2019, the number of overdose deaths involving drugs other than cocaine (largely methamphetamine) rose from 5,526 to 15,489, an increase of 180%.
The use of meth appears to have risen by only 43% during that time.
Telling was the rise in frequent meth use (66%) and the rise in the combined use of meth and cocaine (60%) during that period.
"What makes these data even more devastating is that currently, there are no approved medications to treat methamphetamine use disorder," said Emily Einstein, Ph.D., chief of NIDA's Science Policy Branch and a co-author of the study.
She is correct – there are no medications to treat methamphetamine use disorder. But there are other effective options like Aware Recovery Care.
If you're struggling with an addiction to alcohol and/or drugs and need help in Southern Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Florida, or Indiana, the recovery teams at Aware Recovery Care are here to help. Our unique model of care is giving clients a significantly better chance of recovery when compared to traditional inpatient rehab care. To learn more, please contact one of our Recovery Specialists.