While the opioid epidemic gets a lot of press in the US, we must not forget that there is still another major drug epidemic going on.
Methamphetamine use is surging in parts of the US, particularly in the West. In fact, overdose due to methamphetamine more than quadrupled from 2011 to 2017. And, from 2008 to 2015, hospitalizations from meth increased by a whopping 245 percent. And, admissions to treatment facilities for meth addiction have been up by 17 percent over the last few years.
This crisis has left addiction treatment providers and first responders in a tough place as they struggle to handle the rising need.
So, how bad is the meth crisis? How many people overdose on meth each year?
Keep reading to learn more about the meth crisis in the United States.
What is Meth?
Before we dive into the statistics, let’s get a better understanding of what meth is exactly.
Meth is a highly addictive stimulant drug. It was originally created for therapeutic use, but now it’s predominantly used as a recreational drug of abuse. Though the drug is FDA-approved and prescribed for ADHD and obesity, its illicit use has greatly surpassed its intended function.
Typically, the meth sold on the street is crystal meth, which comes in a translucent white or blue color that closely resembles crystals. Crystal meth goes by many street names such as quartz, glass, ice, blade, and Batu. Typically, meth can be crushed into a powder, and then it’s either snorted, swallowed, or injected.
While it can give its users a temporary feeling of euphoria, meth wreaks havoc on the mind and body. The risks of meth include:
• High blood pressure• High heart rate• Skin picking• Weight loss• Skin infections• Convulsions• Poor dental hygiene• Elevated body temperature• Stroke• Death
Meth can also lead to mental health issues such as:
• Anxiety• Depression• Paranoia• Confusion• Hallucinations• Delusions
These effects can be hard to reverse. Plus, the meth comedown symptoms can also be quite dangerous.
How Many People Overdose on Meth Every Year?
So, how many people overdose on meth every year? Unfortunately, the US government does not track death rates for every drug.
But, we do know that in 2017, 10,333 people overdosed from psychostimulants with abuse potential (including methamphetamine). So, this means that while some of these overdoses were meth-related, not all of them were. What’s important to note, however, is that this number seems to be increasing. In 2010, for example, the number of overdoses was reported to only be 1378.
Additionally, we know that there were approximately 1.6 million reported meth users in 2017. And, in 2017, around 964,000 people ages 12 and older reported having a meth disorder. That is, they reported that their meth use led to health problems, disability, failure to meet significant responsibilities, or significant clinical impairment.
Meth Use and Overdose: Wrap Up
As you can see, meth use and overdose is a huge issue in the United States. Be sure to check back in with our blog to learn more about the dangers of this drug as well as other illicit substances.