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What is Methamphetamine?   PDF  Print  Email 
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What is Methamphetamine?
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Data from the 1996 Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), which collects information on drug-related episodes from hospital emergency departments in 21 metropolitan areas, reported that methamphetamine-related episodes decreased by 39 percent between 1994 and 1996, after a 237 percent increase between 1990 and 1994. There was a statistically significant decrease in methamphetamine-related episodes between 1995 (16,200) and 1996 (10,800). However, there was a significant increase of 71 percent between the first half of 1996 and the second half of 1996 (from 4,000 to 6,800).

NIDA's Community Epidemiology Work Group (CEWG), an early warning network of researchers that provides information about the nature and patterns of drug use in major cities, reported in its June 1997 publication that methamphetamine continues to be a problem in Hawaii and in major Western cities, such as San Francisco, Denver, and Los Angeles. Increased methamphetamine availability and production are being reported in diverse areas of the country, particularly rural areas, prompting concern about more widespread use.

Methamphetamine and Amphetamine Use is on the Rise


Source: Drug Abuse Warning Network, SAMHSA, 1997

Quarterly emergency room episodes due to stimulant use were tracked from 1994 to 1996. A shortage of methamphetamine was reported by epidemiologists during the last half of 1995 accounting for the significant decrease in ER episodes.

Drug abuse treatment admissions reported by the CEWG in December 1996 showed that methamphetamine remained the leading drug of abuse among treatment clients in the San Diego area and was second only to marijuana in Hawaii. Stimulants, including methamphetamine, accounted for smaller percentages of treatment admissions in other states and metropolitan areas of the West (e.g., 5 percent in Los Angeles and Seattle and 4 percent in Texas and San Francisco). By comparison, stimulants were the primary drugs of abuse in less than 1 percent of treatment admissions in most Eastern and Midwestern metropolitan areas, except in Minneapolis-St. Paul and St. Louis, where they accounted for approximately 2 percent of total admissions.



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