More U.S. youth may be abusing crystal methamphetamine than was previously known, says a new federal study reported by HealthDay News. Said U.S. National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Elias Zerhouni: “Use of crystal methamphetamine is associated with multiple health and social risks, including a negative impact on families, as well as straining emergency departments and law enforcement resources.” The study was published in the July issue of the journal Addiction and funded by the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the NIH.
Researchers analyzed data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. They found that in 2001-02, 2.8 percent of adults ages 18-26 reported that they’d used crystal methamphetamine at some time in the previous year. That’s considerably higher than the 1.4 percent rate of use among young adults (ages 19-28) reported by NIDA’s 2002 Monitoring the Future Survey. The new study found that methamphetamine users were disproportionately white, male, and lived in the West.