Methamphetamine is a dangerous drug that can be abused and sometimes abused in the form of meth. It’s been abused for decades, but it’s been banned since 1985. The side effects are severe, and the addiction is difficult to quit. You may have seen the news about deaths related to methamphetamine overdose are rising sharply.
At this time, there are two known overdose deaths from methamphetamine. In 2020 alone, more than 500 people died from meth-induced psychosis than deaths from opioid overdoses alone.
Read on for more data about this dangerous drug.
Health Risks Linked to Methamphetamine
The abuse of methamphetamine is linked to a lot of health risks. Methamphetamine can cause addiction, permanent brain damage, and death when used for an extended period.
Number of Deaths Among All Ages by Gender, 2010–2020
There has been an increase in methamphetamine overdose deaths in recent years. In 2010, there were 359 methamphetamine-involved overdose deaths among all ages. This number increased to 978 in 2016. In 2020, the most recent study conducted by the CDC projected that there will be over 1400 methamphetamine-involved overdose deaths by 2022.
Males and females both experienced increased death rates from methamphetamine overdoses during the study period. While males had a higher rate of death than females over this time frame (15.19 per 100,000 versus 11.85), more women died as a result of using methamphetamines (22%) compared to men (17%). The average age at death was 36 for males and 32 for females.
Deaths by Specific Category- Number Among All Ages, 2010–2020
- Males 15-24: 100 in 2010 to 290 in 2020
- Females 15-24: 20 in 2010 to 60 in 2020
- Males 25-34: 370 in 2010 to 840 by 2020
- Females 25-34: 40 in 2011 to 120 by 2020
- Males 35-44: 390 in 2010 to 760 by 2020
- Females 35-54: 190 in 2010 to 460 by 2020
- Total for all ages: 1690 in 2010 to 3870 by 2020
The number of methamphetamine-involved overdose deaths has almost tripled in recent years. It is a significant health concern as the effects of this drug are very dangerous. Some specific categories of people at a higher risk for death include males 15-24 and 25-34, and females 15-24 and 25-54. More recently, cases involving children who have become sick after using methamphetamines are on the rise; some of these include seizures from dehydration caused by not sleeping or eating for days at a time while high on drugs.
Deaths by Specific Ethnic Groups 2010–2020
In recent years, different ethnic groups have been affected differently by methamphetamine overdose deaths. Native Americans had the highest death rate from 2010 to 2020, while Asians had the lowest.
Pacific Islanders, non-Hispanic whites, and Hispanics all had higher than average death rates. It could be partly because different ethnic groups have different access levels to methamphetamine and differ in their susceptibility to its dangers.
These ethnic groups should be monitored closely to develop targeted interventions that could save lives and reduce the number of exuberance deaths related to methamphetamine.
Deaths by Countries, 2010–2020
Different countries have shown different death rates from methamphetamine overdoses. The United States has the highest number of deaths, followed by Mexico and Canada.
In the United States, methamphetamine is a Schedule II drug, meaning it has a high potential for abuse but can be used legally under certain medical circumstances. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) reports that: “Schedule II drugs are substances or chemicals with a high potential for abuse that currently have accepted medical uses in treatment in the United States or a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions.” However, it’s important to remember that just because something is legal doesn’t mean it isn’t dangerous. And while prescription medications can also be abused, they don’t come with all of the harmful effects that methamphetamine does.
Effects of Methamphetamine
Methamphetamine has a lot of risks, both to the user and others. Some of these risks include:
- Suicidal behavior or thoughts
- Hallucinations, violent behavior, anxiety, paranoia
- An impaired judgment can lead to risky sexual behaviors that result in HIV/AIDS transmission or other infections such as Hepatitis B and C from dirty needles among users who inject methamphetamine(CDC)
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure can lead to a heart attack or stroke
- Damage to the brain, including addiction, memory loss, mood changes, and problems with thinking clearly
The dangers of methamphetamine are real. People must understand these risks before using this drug.
All About Methamphetamine
Methamphetamine-related overdose deaths almost tripled in recent years. Methamphetamine is a highly addictive drug that can be found across the country and has been an ongoing problem for many individuals who suffer from addiction as well as those around them.
When seeking help, it is vital to find treatment facilities that offer effective forms of care such as behavioral therapies, group counseling sessions with other addicts, 12-step programs, or medication choices like methadone or buprenorphine.