According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of drug overdose deaths over a five-year span involving methamphetamine more than tripled, from 1,887 deaths in 2011 to 6,762 deaths in 2016.
Meth fatalities spiked from 2,600 in 2012 to 10,300 a mere five years later. But unlike opioid-related deaths, meth is less likely to kill its users from an overdose. Instead, meth drags the process out, taking its time as it slowly destroys users’ immune systems, bodies, and minds.
While the lead headline from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) touted “Marijuana use at historic highs among college-age adults,” the institute could have also released some positive headlines.
A recently released report suggests that there will be an increased need for recovery services in the years ahead.
Many people abuse more than one substance and have what is commonly referred to as polysubstance or polydrug abuse. Sometimes people abuse different substances to intentionally create different reactions. Certain substances make them feel better or give them a “high”, while other substances cause sedation and help them relax or sleep.
WalletHub recently delved into the substance abuse problem with a major research article, examining all 50 states and the District of Columbia. They found that while some states ranked much higher with substance abuse issues than others, those ratings could change as the data is examined in different ways.
Methamphetamine never received the notoriety or news attention that opioids did – at least not until recently. Now headlines from medical journals, government agencies, popular magazines to radio stations are screaming warnings about the dangers and increases in methamphetamine use.
Methamphetamine (meth) abuse is growing. The drug is becoming easier to get and is inexpensive. It is also highly addictive, and methamphetamine treatment can be complicated. Unlike some substance abuse disorders that are treated with medications, at this time there are no medications that have proven effective to counteract the effects of methamphetamine or improve abstinence rates for people seeking recovery from methamphetamine addiction.
Methamphetamine promises to make you feel good. It promises to give you lots of energy. It promises to curb your appetite and help you lose weight. It also promises an almost immediate, pleasurable, amazing rush. It sounds good!
As the much-publicized war on opioids continues, another drug is quietly regaining momentum and leaving a deadly path of destruction. Methamphetamine is back. Back in a very big way.
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