The scourge of methamphetamine: Impact on a level I trauma center
ABSTRACT Methamphetamine (METH) use is associated with high-risk behavior and serious injury. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of METH use in trauma patients on a Level I trauma center to guide prevention efforts.
A retrospective registry-based review of 4,932 consecutive trauma patients who underwent toxicology screening at our center during a 3-year period (2003-2005). This sample represented 76% of all trauma patients seen during this interval.
From the first half of 2003 to the second half of 2005, overall use of METH increased 70% (p < 0.001), surpassing marijuana as the most common illicit drug used by the trauma population. Other illicit drug use did not significantly change during this interval. METH-positive patients were more likely to have a violent mechanism of injury (47.3% vs. 26.3%, p < 0.001), with 33% more assaults (p < 0.01), 96% more gunshot wounds (p < 0.001), and 158% more stab wounds (p < 0.001). They were more likely to have attempted suicide (4.8% vs. 2.6%, p < 0.01), to have had an altercation with law enforcement (1.8% vs. 0.3%, p < 0.001), or been the victim of domestic violence (4.4% vs. 2.1%, p < 0.001). METH users had a higher mean Injury Severity Score (11.2 vs. 10.0, p < 0.01), were 62% more likely to receive mechanical ventilation (p < 0.001), and 53% more likely to undergo an operation (p < 0.001). They were more prone to leave against medical advice (4.9% vs. 2.1%, p < 0.001) and 113% more likely to die from their injuries (6.4% vs. 3.0%, p < 0.001). The average cost of care per METH user was 9% higher than that for nonusers, and METH users were more likely to be unfunded than nonusers (47.6% vs. 23.1%, p < 0.001). The annual uncompensated cost of care of METH users increased 70% during the study period to $1,477,108 in 2005.
METH use in trauma patients increased significantly and was associated with adverse outcomes and a significant financial burden on our trauma center. Evidence-based prevention efforts must be a priority for trauma centers to help stop the scourge of METH.
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ABSTRACT: This study examines health and legal problems associated with use of commonly reported substances and combinations of substances in a sample of adults with long histories of methamphetamine (meth) use. Data are from a 2009-11 eight-year follow-up interview in an intensive natural history study (N = 373). Respondents who had not used illicit substances in the year preceding the follow-up interview (38%) were compared to users of marijuana-only (16%), meth-only (7%), and poly-drug users who used meth + marijuana but not heroin or cocaine (19%), and poly-drug users who used heroin and/or cocaine (20%). Multinomial regression results indicate that compared to drug-abstinent individuals, greater depressive symptomatology was reported for poly-drug users of meth + marijuana (p = .001), and arrest rates were higher for poly-drug users who used heroin/cocaine (p = .006); no differences in health, mental health, or criminal involvement were observed for meth-only users compared to abstinent individuals. Users of marijuana-only and poly-drug users of heroin/cocaine experienced poorer physical health status than those who were abstinent. To further explore this finding, use of marijuana for medical reasons was examined by drug use group. Overall, health and criminal outcomes varied based on type and combination of substances used, and these differences should be considered when planning treatment strategies.Journal of psychoactive drugs 04/2013; 45(2):132-40. DOI:10.1080/02791072.2013.785824 · 1.10 Impact Factor
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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
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ABSTRACT: Overdose of amphetamine, related derivatives, and analogues (ARDA) continues to be a serious worldwide health problem. Patients frequently present to the hospital and require treatment for agitation, psychosis, and hyperadrenegic symptoms leading to pathologic sequelae and mortality. To review the pharmacologic treatment of agitation, psychosis, and the hyperadrenergic state resulting from ARDA toxicity. MEDLINE, PsycINFO, and the Cochrane Library were searched from inception to September 2014. Articles on pharmacologic treatment of ARDA-induced agitation, psychosis, and hyperadrenergic symptoms were selected. Evidence was graded using Oxford CEBM. Treatment recommendations were compared to current ACCF/AHA guidelines. The search resulted in 6082 articles with 81 eligible treatment involving 835 human subjects. There were 6 high-quality studies supporting the use of antipsychotics and benzodiazepines for control of agitation and psychosis. There were several case reports detailing the successful use of dexmedetomidine for this indication. There were 9 high-quality studies reporting the overall safety and efficacy of β-blockers for control of hypertension and tachycardia associated with ARDA. There were 3 high-quality studies of calcium channel blockers. There were 2 level I studies of α-blockers and a small number of case reports for nitric oxide-mediated vasodilators. High-quality evidence for pharmacologic treatment of overdose from ARDA is limited but can help guide management of acute agitation, psychosis, tachycardia, and hypertension. The use of butyrophenone and later-generation antipsychotics, benzodiazepines, and β-blockers is recommended based on existing evidence. Future randomized prospective trials are needed to evaluate new agents and further define treatment of these patients. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.Drug and Alcohol Dependence 02/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.01.040 · 3.28 Impact Factor