Most County Hospitals Say Meth ER Visits, Costs Are Up


Methamphetamine accounts for more emergency room visits than any other drug, says a new National Association of Counties study reported by USA Today. A survey of 200 hospitals run or funded by counties in 39 states and Washington, D.C., shows that 47 percent said meth is the top illicit drug involved in emergency room visits. Sixteen percent said marijuana, and 15 percent said cocaine. Said NACO’s Tom Goodman: “The costs of methamphetamine are placing a great strain on county governments.”

Of hospitals surveyed, 73 percent said emergency room cases involving meth have increased over the past five years, and 56 percent said hospital costs have risen because of the treatment of meth patients. A separate survey by the counties’ association of 200 state and county treatment program directors in 35 states and D.C. found that 69 percent reported an increased number of people seeking treatment for meth use. The problem appears to be particularly acute in the Midwest.


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