Methamphetamine Addiction Statistics
Methamphetamine abuse and addiction takes a drastic toll on the mind and body, is one of the most widely abuse drugs in the United States, and because it is relatively cheap it is widely abused in poor communities. Also called “glass” or “Crystal,” the drug is usually snorted or smoked, but can also be used intravenously.
- Contrary to popular belief, the United States does not see the highest rates of methamphetamine use, rather Australia has the highest abuse rate.
- 42 metric tons of methamphetamine were used in the U.S. in 2010, and the highest rate seen in recent years was 85 metric tons in 2005.
- In a 2013 poll, 59,500 Americans over the age of 12 admitted to using methamphetamine within the past month.
- In a 2013 poll, 12,257,000 Americans admitted to using meth at least once in their lifetime.
- 82,000 teens between the age of 16 and 17 admitted to using methamphetamine in 2013.
- 25,000 teens between the age of 14 and 15 admitted to using methamphetamine in 2013.
- 12,000 kids between the age of 12 and 13 admitted to using methamphetamine in 2013.
- $13 billion was spent on meth by Americans in 2010.
- 102,961 emergency room visits in 2011 were meth-related
- 49,510 people sought addiction treatment for meth in 2012
- 2,724 deaths were attributed to poisoning by methamphetamine in 2011
- There were 1,814 emergency room visits related to suicide attempts in combination with methamphetamine in 2009.
- Meth-related deaths in the U.S. peaked at 4,500 deaths in 2005.
Signs of Methamphetamine Addiction
Methamphetamine use is usually easier to spot in long-term addicts and those that use large amounts of the drug, as heavy meth users’ physical appearance begins to change – taking on a gaunt look, with acne, rotting teeth, and extreme weight loss. However, those that use the drug less regularly or only engage in infrequent binges on the drug can often show no physical signs of meth use.
Additionally, the physical characteristics a person takes on after heavy meth use is tied to the types of chemicals used in manufacturing the drug. Therefore “cleaner” batches of meth may do less physical damage to the body, while “dirty” batches of meth can cause the “meth-look” to be more prominent and show up more quickly. Signs to look out for if you suspect meth use in your child include:
- Frailness or Thinning Body
- Dramatic Weight Loss
- Suppressed Appetite and Lack of Appetite
- Droopiness of the Facial Skin, Sunken Cheeks, Pronounced Bone Structure in the Face
- Convulsions and Seizures
- Lowered Immunity and Increased Susceptibility to Diseases
- Increased Libido
- Intense Scratching
- Visual and Tactile Hallucinations (Often of Bugs on the Skin or Crawling Sensations)
- Increase in Body Temperature, Flushed Red Skin
- Rapid, Darting Eyes and Dilated Pupils
- Skin Lesions or Sores
- Impulsive Actions
- Hair Loss
Signs of Methamphetamine Withdrawal
Meth withdrawal usually will not be life-threatening, and presents more dangerous psychological symptoms than physically dangerous symptoms. Meth withdrawal begins within the first 24 hours of stopping the use of the drug, and the severity of the withdrawal depends on how much meth you have used, and for how long you have been using the drug for (“tweaking” – Using the drug consecutively during a binge).
Meth Withdrawal Symptoms Include:
- Sadness or Depression
- Muscle Weakness
- Decreased Appetite
- Lack of Motivation
- Muscle Pain
- Jaw pain and Clenching of the jaw (Grinding Teeth, etc.)
- Suicidal Thoughts
- Stimulant-Induced Psychosis
- Drug Cravings