ResearchPublications

Trends in characteristics of individuals who use methamphetamine in the United States, 2015-2018
Abstract

BACKGROUND: Prevalence of self-reported methamphetamine use has remained relatively stable over the past decade; however, deaths and seizures involving methamphetamine have been increasing. Research is needed to determine if select subgroups in the US are at increased risk for use.

METHODS: We examined data from individuals ages >/=12 from the 2015-2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (n = 226,632), an annual nationally representative cross-sectional survey of non-institutionalized individuals in the US. Log-linear trends in past-year methamphetamine use were examined, stratified by demographic and drug use characteristics.

RESULTS: Methamphetamine use increased in the US from 2015 to 2018, including among those reporting past-year use of ecstasy/MDMA (6.1 % to 10.8 % [p = .018], a 78.2 % increase), cocaine (8.4 % to 11.8 % [p = .013], a 40.1 % increase), and among those reporting past-year prescription opioid misuse (5.4 % to 8.0 % [p = .019], a 49.2 % increase). Increases were particularly pronounced among those reporting past-year use of heroin (22.5 % to 37.4 % [p = .032], a 66.2 % increase) and LSD (5.1 %-= to 10.3 % [p = .002], a 100.4 % increase). Small increases were also detected among heterosexuals (0.6 % to 0.7 % [p = .044], a 16.2 % increase), those with a high school diploma or less (1.0 % to 1.2 % [p = .020], a 22.0 % increase), and among those receiving government assistance (1.4 % to 1.8 % [p = .046], a 26.2 % increase).

CONCLUSIONS: Methamphetamine use is increasing among people who use other drugs with sharp increases among people who use heroin or LSD in particular, and this could have serious public health consequences. Results may signal that methamphetamine use may continue to increase in the general population.

Full citation:
Palamar JJ, Han BH, Keyes KM (2020).
Trends in characteristics of individuals who use methamphetamine in the United States, 2015-2018
Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 213, 108089. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2020.108089.