Crystal methamphetamine use is on the rise among young adults

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According to data retrieved from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, methamphetamine use is rising in the US among young adults between the ages of 18-26. The data consisted of a sample of 14,322 respondents from across the United States. According to the findings, 2.8% of respondents said that they had used meth within the last year; 1.3% of respondents said that they had used meth within the last month. There were several commonalities among the users such as white or Native American ethnicity, poverty, being a school dropout, use of other drugs, father’s incarceration, and living outside of the Northeast. Surprisingly, Native Americans had a higher risk for meth use than whites. The findings also suggested that women who use meth have an increased risk of selling drugs and engaging in “risky sexual behavior.” Many of the respondents that had reported meth use claimed that they used only a couple of times per month. When use is not frequent, physical indicators of meth habits may not be present and clinicians should ask young adults if they are using meth. The following is an excerpt of an article from Journal Watch that reviews the findings:

Crystal methamphetamine use, most prevalent in young adults, has been little studied. To learn more about rates of use and associated factors, these researchers examined confidential self-reported data from 14,322 nationally representative young adults (age range, 18–26) from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health.

Crystal methamphetamine use in the past year was reported by 2.8% of respondents and in the past 30 days by 1.3%. Of those reporting past-month use, 37% had used it once in that month, 31% two to three times, and 32% four or more times. Factors associated with past-year use were male sex, U.S. birth, being white or Native American, living outside the Northeast, being a school dropout, use of other drugs and alcohol, poverty, father’s incarceration history, and high novelty seeking. Compared with whites, Native Americans had an especially increased risk for crystal methamphetamine use (odds ratio, 4.2).


Click here to read the entire article from Journal Watch

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