Use of methamphetamine by young people: Is there reason for concern?

University of California, Los Angeles, Los Ángeles, California, United States
Addiction (Impact Factor: 4.74). 08/2007; 102(7):1021-2. DOI: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2007.01899.x
Source: PubMed
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Available from: Walter Ling, Sep 16, 2014
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    • "The street cost of METH has continually decreased over the past decade while the drug's purity and availability have increased, thus making first time use more accessible and more addictive (World Drug Report, 2010). Adolescents may be particularly vulnerable to METH abuse given the drug's growing popularity, availability, potency, and low price, and data from U.S. treatment programs indicate that adolescents comprise more than 20% of those admitted for METH abuse or dependence (Rawson et al., 2007; Gonzales et al., 2008). "
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    ABSTRACT: Methamphetamine (METH) use has increased substantially in the last 10 years and poses a serious health concern, especially for young populations. Drug abuse primarily begins during adolescence, when uninhibited and excessive and drug intake is a common occurrence; thus, understanding the developmental patterns of addiction during this critical period is an essential step in its prevention. In the present study, the effect of age on the vulnerability to METH abuse was examined using a rat model of bingeing (i.e., escalation). Adolescent and adult rats were compared during short (ShA, 2-h) and long-access (LgA, 6-h) to METH self-administration. On postnatal (PN) days 23 (adolescents) and 90 (adults), rats were implanted with i.v. catheters and trained to lever press for infusions of METH (0.05mg/kg) during 2-h sessions. Once the rats reached a steady rate of METH self-administration, they were divided into ShA or LgA groups and allowed to self-administer METH for 15 additional days. Results indicated that adolescent rats earned significantly more infusions than adults under the LgA condition, but the age groups did not differ during ShA. Adolescents, but not adults, also significantly increased (i.e., escalated) METH self-administration across the 15 days of testing under the LgA condition. Further analysis indicated excessive responding during infusions in the LgA METH-exposed adolescents compared to the other groups, suggesting elevated impulsivity or motivation for drug. These results demonstrate that adolescents are more vulnerable to the escalation of METH than adults during LgA.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2012 · Drug and alcohol dependence
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    • "for level of education would potentially remove variance which is attributable to MA dependence itself. Despite the implicit assumption that MA dependence does not impact educational exposure, it is noteworthy that MA and other substance use disorders are commonly considered developmental disorders (Rawson et al., 2007; Compton et al., 2007; Chambers et al., 2003), with MA use often beginning in the late teen years (Hser et al., 2008; Rawson et al., 2007). As such, it is possible that MA use could affect educational engagement and subsequent educational attainment, particularly at secondary and post-secondary educational levels. "
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    ABSTRACT: We sought to test the hypothesis that methamphetamine use interferes with both the quantity and quality of one's education, such that the years of education obtained by methamphetamine dependent individuals serves to underestimate general cognitive functioning and overestimate the quality of academic learning. Thirty-six methamphetamine-dependent participants and 42 healthy comparison subjects completed cognitive tests and self-report measures in Los Angeles, California. An overall cognitive battery score was used to assess general cognition, and vocabulary knowledge was used as a proxy for the quality of academic learning. Linear regression procedures were used for analyses. Supporting the hypothesis that methamphetamine use interferes with the quantity of education, we found that (a) earlier onset of methamphetamine use was associated with fewer years of education (p<.01); (b) using a normative model developed in healthy participants, methamphetamine-dependent participants had lower educational attainment than predicted from their demographics and performance on the cognitive battery score (p<.01); and (c) greater differences between methamphetamine-dependent participants' predicted and actual educational attainment were associated with an earlier onset of MA use (p≤.01). Supporting the hypothesis that methamphetamine use interferes with the quality of education, years of education received prior to the onset of methamphetamine use was a better predictor of a proxy for academic learning, vocabulary knowledge, than was the total years of education obtained. Results support the hypothesis that methamphetamine use interferes with the quantity and quality of educational exposure, leading to under- and overestimation of cognitive function and academic learning, respectively.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2011 · Drug and alcohol dependence
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    • "Methamphetamine use has reached epidemic proportions in many regions of the United States and elsewhere (Rawson et al., 2007). The drug's effects on energy and alertness, as well as appetite suppression for weight loss, are particularly attractive to adolescents and young adults (Iritani et al., 2007). "
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    ABSTRACT: Methamphetamine can be neurotoxic to the adult brain; however, many individuals first use methamphetamine during adolescence, and the drug's impact on this period of brain development is unknown. Therefore, we evaluated young methamphetamine users for possible abnormalities in brain metabolite concentrations. Anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), frontal white matter (FWM), basal ganglia, and thalamus were studied with localized proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy in 54 periadolescent (ages 13-23 years) methamphetamine users and 53 comparison subjects. The concentrations of major brain metabolites and their associations with age, sex and cognition were assessed. FWM total-creatine correlated with age in methamphetamine-using males and comparison females, but not comparison males or methamphetamine-using females, leading to a drug by sex by age interaction (p=0.003) and ACC choline-containing compounds (CHO) correlated with age only in comparison males leading to a drug by sex by age interaction (p=0.03). Higher ACC CHO was associated with faster performance on the Stroop Interference task in the control males. Male methamphetamine users had slowest performance on the Stroop Interference task and did not show age-appropriate levels of ACC CHO. The altered age-appropriate levels of ACC CHO and poorer executive function in male methamphetamine users suggest methamphetamine abuse may interfere with brain maturation. These periadolescents did not have the abnormal neuronal markers previously reported in adult methamphetamine users, suggesting that neuronal abnormalities may be the result of long-term use or interference in normal cortical maturation, emphasizing the need for early intervention for young methamphetamine users.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2011 · Drug and alcohol dependence
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