Effects of methamphetamine abuse beyond individual users.

Department of Epidemiology, College of Public Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, 984395 University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198-4395, USA.
Journal of psychoactive drugs (Impact Factor: 1.1). 09/2009; 41(3):241-8. DOI: 10.1080/02791072.2009.10400534
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Since 1997, the use of methamphetamine as a drug of abuse has been widespread in the United States. While several forms of amphetamine are useful in some areas of medicine, methamphetamine as an abused substance is associated with severe and multifaceted consequences. Problems associated with the abuse of amphetamine and its derivatives such as methamphetamine have been well documented. As the manufacture and use of methamphetamine across the United States has increased, the impact of methamphetamine abuse has been felt beyond individual users; families as well as communities can be seriously affected. An increase in child neglect and violence as well as a lack of resources for health care, social services, and law enforcement because of methamphetamine abuse have been reported by many communities. This study examines the historical spread of methamphetamine misuse in the United States and the resulting individual, social, and environmental consequences. A public health perspective on family, community, and social aspects is offered, and ideas for future research and policy changes are explored.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objective Methamphetamine (MA) use rates in the United States (US) have consistently demonstrated geographical variation and have been higher in the West and Midwest. This uneven pattern of use could be explained by regional differences in MA manufacturing and distribution, but may also result from differences in altitude. The hypobaric hypoxia found at high altitude alters neurotransmitter synthesis in the brain, which may contribute to MA use. The present study investigated the relationship between mean altitude and MA use rate in the 48 contiguous US states and the District of Columbia. Methods State-level estimates of past year MA use were extracted from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health report. The mean altitude of each state was calculated using the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission altitude data set. Results There was a significant positive correlation between mean state altitude and MA use rate (r=0.66, p<0.0001). Multivariate linear regression analysis showed that altitude remained a significant predictor for MA use rate (β=0.36, p=0.02), after adjusting for age, ethnicity, education, socioeconomic level, employment, MA laboratory incidents, subpopulations, and other substance use. Conclusion Altitude appears to a possible contributing factor for regional variation of MA use in the US. Further studies will be required to determine biological changes in neurotransmission resulting from chronic mild hypoxia at high altitude in MA users.
    Psychiatry investigation 10/2014; 11(4):430-6. DOI:10.4306/pi.2014.11.4.430 · 1.15 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Over the last decade, South Africa's Western Cape has experienced a dramatic increase in methamphetamine ("tik") use. Our study explored local impressions of the impact of tik use in a peri-urban township community in Cape Town, South Africa. We conducted individual in-depth interviews with 55 women and 37 men who were regular attendees of alcohol-serving venues. Interviews were recorded and transcribed. A content analysis approach was used to identify themes related to the impact of tik use based on levels of the socio-ecological framework (individual, inter-personal and community). Tik use was reported to be a greater issue among Coloureds, compared to Blacks. At an individual level, respondents reported that tik use had adverse effects on mental, physical, and economic well-being, and limited future opportunities through school drop-out and incarceration. At an inter-personal level, respondents reported that tik use contributed to physical and sexual violence as well as increased rates of sexual risk behaviour, particularly through transactional sex relationships. Respondents described how tik use led to household conflict, and had negative impacts on children, including neglect and poor birth outcomes. At a community level, respondents linked tik use to increased rates of crime, violence and corruption, which undercut community cohesion. Our results highlight the negative impact that tik is having on individuals, households and the overall community in a peri-urban setting in South Africa. There is a clear need for interventions to prevent tik use in South Africa and to mitigate and address the impact of tik on multiple levels.
    The International journal on drug policy 10/2013; DOI:10.1016/j.drugpo.2013.10.007 · 2.54 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background Drug use and partner violence affect older women, yet few studies highlight age-specific HIV risks and prevention strategies. This study compares sexual risk behaviors, condom use attitudes, and HIV knowledge between midlife/older women (ages 45+) and younger women (ages 18–44) reporting methamphetamine use and partner violence in San Diego, California. Methods Our mixed methods study used themes from a qualitative substudy (n = 18) to inform logistic regression analysis of baseline data from an HIV behavioral intervention trial (n = 154). Findings Age-related qualitative themes included physiologic determinants, HIV knowledge, and “dodging the bullet,” referring to a lifetime of uncertainty surrounding HIV serostatus after engaging in unsafe drug and sex practices. Midlife/older age was associated with never being married (24.2% vs. 51.2; p = .03), having less than a high school education/GED (12.1% vs. 34.7%; p = .04), lower condom use self-efficacy (2.87 vs. 3.19; p = .03), lower positive outcome expectancies (1.9 vs. 2.1; p = .04), and lower HIV knowledge (85.3% vs. 89.7%; p = .04); however, sexual risk behaviors were not associated with age group. In the multivariate analysis, midlife/older age remained independently associated with lower condom use self-efficacy (adjusted odds ratio, 0.49; 95% CI, 0.27–0.87) and lower HIV knowledge (adjusted odds ratio, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.93–0.99). Conclusions Midlife/older methamphetamine-using women with experiences of partner violence present similar sexual risk profiles, but possess different HIV-related knowledge and attitudes toward prevention methods compared with their younger counterparts. Clinicians and public health practitioners can have a positive impact on this overlooked population by assessing HIV risks during routine screenings, encouraging HIV testing, and providing age-appropriate HIV prevention education.
    Women s Health Issues 11/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.whi.2014.06.007 · 1.61 Impact Factor