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: 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; · 2.54 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Although psychiatric symptoms among methamphetamine (MA) dependent individuals have been studied in treatment programs, they have not been examined in services designed to support sustained recovery in the community (e.g. sober living houses). In addition, some disorders more common among women, such as somatoform and bulimia, have been understudied among MA dependent individuals. This study aimed to examine psychiatric symptom differences between MA dependent men and women who we entering sober living houses (SLHs). Two hundred forty five individuals were interviewed within one week of entering SLHs. Instruments included a DSM IV based measure for MA dependence, a psychiatric screen (the Psychiatric Diagnostic Screening Questionnaire), demographics, recent substance use and recent use of services. Of the 245 participants, 103 men and 25 women met criteria for MA dependence. Womenwith MA dependence reported more psychiatric symptoms than men. They also trended toward reporting more psychiatric symptoms than non-MA dependent women. For men, psychiatric symptoms did not vary between those with and without MA dependence. Some understudied disorders (e.g., somatoform) had large proportions of women meeting the screening criteria. Additional research is needed on understudied psychiatric disorders that are common among MA dependent women. SLH's should consider ways to address psychiatric symptoms among MA dependent individuals, especially women. Strategies could include increasing linkages with professional mental health services as well as developing peer oriented strategies for managing symptoms.Addictive Disorders & Their Treatment 06/2012; 11(2):53-63.
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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. · 1.10 Impact Factor