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


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.

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    • "Beyond direct health care costs, resources forgone because of reduced productivity among methamphetamine users may pose a bigger economic burden on a community. Other broader effects include the social impact on children and families, including child neglect and injury, and the increased burden on law enforcement and the justice system (Parry, Pluddemann, Louw, & Leggett, 2004; Sommers et al., 2006; Watanabe-Galloway et al., 2009). "
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · The International journal on drug policy
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    • "Methamphetamine can be snorted, smoked, ingested orally, inserted rectally, and injected (Shrem & Halkitis, 2008). Methamphetamine use in institutional and community based samples has been associated with negative physical effects such as cardiomyopathy, appetite suppression, malnutrition, poor dentition, and soft tissue infections, as well as co-morbid psychiatric problems, which are often developed secondarily to chronic use of methamphetamine (Richards et al., 1999; Shrem & Halkitis, 2008; Watanabe-Galloway et al., 2009; Yeo et al., 2007). While both men and women use methamphetamine at comparable rates, research on methamphetamine use has focused primarily on men, specifically men who have sex with men (Administration, 2004a; Bull, Piper, & Rietmeijer , 2002; Clatts, Goldsamt, & Yi, 2005; Durell et al., 2008; Rudy et al., 2009; Shoptaw & Reback, 2006, 2007; Shoptaw et al., 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: Methamphetamine use has increased substantially in the United States since the 1990s. Few studies have examined the healthcare service needs of women who use methamphetamine. This study describes unmet medical needs in a community-based sample of women who use methamphetamine in San Francisco, CA. Women who use methamphetamine were recruited in San Francisco and participated in a computer-assisted survey (N = 298 HIV-negative women). Multivariate analysis was performed to explore associations among sociodemographic variables, drug use, use of health and social services, and unmet healthcare need across three domains: chronic health problems, dermatologic problems, and women's preventive healthcare. Sixty-nine percent of participants reported a need for care for a chronic health condition, and 31% of them had an unmet need for care, in the last six months. Thirty-five percent of participants reported a need for dermatologic healthcare, and 66% had an unmet need for care in the last 6 months. Ninety-two percent of participants reported a need for women's preventive healthcare and 46% had an unmet need for care in the last year. Women who reported having a healthcare provider had lower odds of reporting an unmet need for a chronic health condition or women's preventive healthcare. Women who used a case manager had lower odds of having an unmet need for dermatologic care. A significant proportion of women who use methamphetamine in this sample had an unmet need for women's preventive healthcare, and overall these women had a significant unmet need for healthcare. These findings suggest that contact with a healthcare provider or a caseworker could help to expand access to healthcare for this vulnerable population.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · Substance Use & Misuse
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    • "The clinical use of AMPH is presently restricted to the treatment of particular disorders such as attention deficit disorder, narcolepsy and obesity [1]. However, AMPH is a widely abused recreational drug [2] [3] and, induces chemical dependence [4]. AMPH has potent effects on the CNS and can also induce behavioral and immune alterations [5]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Asthma is an allergic lung disease can be modulated by drugs that modify the activity of central nervous system (CNS) such as amphetamine (AMPH). AMPH is a highly abused drug that exerts potent effects on behavior and immunity. In this study we investigated the mechanism involved in the effects of long-term AMPH treatment on the increased magnitude of allergic lung response. We evaluated mast cells degranulation, cytokines release, airways responsiveness and, expression of adhesion molecules. Male Wistar rats were treated with AMPH or vehicle (PBS) for 21days and sensitized with ovalbumin (OVA) one week after the first injection of vehicle or AMPH. Fourteen days after the sensitization, the rats were challenged with an OVA aerosol, and 24h later their parameters were analyzed. In allergic rats, the treatment with AMPH exacerbated the lung cell recruitment due increased expression of ICAM-1, PECAM-1 and Mac-1 in granulocytes and macrophages recovered from bronchoalveolar lavage. Elevated levels of IL-4, but decreased levels of IL-10 were also found in samples of lung explants after AMPH treatment. Conversely, the ex-vivo tracheal hyper-responsiveness to methacholine (MCh) was reduced by AMPH treatment, whereas the force contraction of tracheal segments due to in vitro antigen challenge remained unaltered. Our findings suggest that lung inflammation and airway hyper-responsiveness due to OVA challenge are under the distinct control of AMPH during long-term treatment. Our data strongly indicate that AMPH positively modulates allergic lung inflammation via the increase of ICAM-1, PECAM-1, Mac-1 and IL-4. AMPH also abrogates the release of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2012 · International immunopharmacology
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