- According to Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), more than 12 million Americans have used methamphetamine at least once, and more than 1 million Americans report using the drug in the prior year. According to the 2014 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration NSDUH study, about 569,000 people reported using crystal meth in the prior month.
- Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) report found that emergency room visits caused by use of crystal meth increased from 68,000 to 103,000 over the five-year period between 2007 and 2011. In more than 60 percent of these ER trips, the person had used crystal meth in combination with another substance.
- Known as crank, ice, meth, speed, and crystal, among other slang terms, crystal meth use causes short-term effects that include rapid breathing and heart rate, decreased appetite, increased blood pressure, and an increase in attention and activity. Many experience extreme cravings that trigger a binge that lasts for days, that can result in extreme sleep deprivation and psychosis. Continued use at this level often leads to extreme weight loss, malnutrition, and mental health issues.
- It is possible to overdose on crystal meth. Usually, this manifests in the form of a heart attack or stroke. There are no medications that can reverse a crystal meth overdose. Rather, emergency medical professionals must treat the symptoms that result.
- Volkow also notes that crystal meth abuse costs the country more than $23 billion a year in costs associated with increased rates of crime, child abuse and neglect, unemployment, healthcare, and more.
- According to a study published in the journal American Family Physician, there are a number of treatments that can be effective in helping people to stop use of methamphetamine safely, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, the Matrix Model, and Contingency Management. There are currently no medications approved to treat crystal meth addiction; however, there are drugs that are being researched.
The more you know about the drug and how it works, the more impactful your voice can be in the discussion. If your loved one is living with a meth abuse problem, you can have a positive impact when you help them to connect with treatment services that will make a genuine, long-term difference in their lives. The good news is that, though there is no cure for addiction, there are a number of research-based therapeutic interventions that can help your loved one turn their life around. The sooner that treatment begins, the sooner they can put crystal meth use and abuse behind them along with the risks associated with untreated addiction.
Link to original post from American Addiction Centers Facebook Page: National Methamphetamine Awareness Day