Methamphetamine is an extremely addictive central nervous system stimulant that may be injected, smoked, snorted, or taken orally. Methamphetamine users feel a short yet powerful “rush” as the drug is initially ingested. Methamphetamine is one of the most commonly abused illicit drug in the United States. It is most popular in the Western and Midwestern states and is particularly common in the Pacific Northwest.
The immediate consequences of methamphetamine include elevated activity and reduced appetite. The drug has limited prescription applications for the management of narcolepsy, attention deficit disorders, and obesity. However, it is seldom administered by physicians. The rates of methamphetamine overdose fatalities have risen dramatically in recent years.
The methamphetamine crisis has been quietly but actively gaining steam during the past few years. With the increase in abuse rates across the US, the number of overdose cases has also risen. The majority of methamphetamine overdose cases were involved with polydrug abuse.
The statistics related to fatal overdoses due to methamphetamine abuse are alarmingly high. Overdose deaths involving methamphetamine in people ages 25 to 54 have significantly increased in recent years, highlighting the severity of the methamphetamine crisis in the US.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA):
It is estimated that 1.6 million adults in the US use methamphetamine each year. Although half the individuals using methamphetamines met the diagnostic criteria for addiction, only one-third of them went on to receive treatment. This is highly concerning as high rates of co-occurring disorders or mental illness among adults is caused by methamphetamine abuse.
Increasing rates of methamphetamine abuse cost the US billions of dollars each year. The economic cost of methamphetamine abuse is calculated through the overall cost of healthcare, loss of productivity, criminal justice costs, and premature death cost.
As per a 2005 study published by RAND Corporation:
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