Meth Overdose Deaths Are Surging in the U.S.

FRIDAY, Jan. 22, 2021 (HealthDay News) – Methamphetamine overdose deaths are on the rise in the United States, especially among blacks and Native American / Alaskan Indians, a new study warns.

“While much attention is being paid to the opioid crisis, a methamphetamine crisis has quietly, but actively, gained momentum – particularly among Native Americans and Alaska Natives, who are so affected. disproportionate by a number of health problems, ”said researcher Dr Nora. Volkow, director of the US National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

Researchers found that deadly methamphetamine overdoses had more than quadrupled among Native Americans and Alaska Natives from 2011 to 2018 (from 5 to 21 per 100,000 people). In this group, male deaths increased from nearly 6 to 26 per 100,000 and from almost 4 to 16 per 100,000 among women.

Black Americans are also seeing a sharp rise in methamphetamine overdoses, according to the NIDA report. This is a disturbing trend in a group that previously had very low rates of methamphetamine overdose death.

However, methamphetamine-related deaths are increasing among all Americans, says NIDA. Overall, fatal OD rates have increased from less than 2 to 10 per 100,000 men and from 0.8 to 4.5 per 100,000 women – an increase of more than five times between 2011 and 2018, according to the report.

These results, published on January 20 in JAMA Psychiatry, highlight the need to develop prevention and treatment strategies that target specific crops, the researchers said.

Reduced access to education, high rates of poverty and discrimination are among the factors contributing to health disparities for Native Americans and Alaska Natives, the study’s authors noted.

“Native American and Alaskan populations experience structural disadvantages, but have cultural strengths that can be harnessed to prevent methamphetamine use and improve health outcomes for people living with addiction,” Volkow added in a commentary. NIDA press release.

A holistic approach to wellness is a tradition deeply rooted among some Native American and Alaska Native groups, such as conversation circles and ceremonies. Using these traditions and other community-based approaches may be one way to help prevent drug use among young people, the study team suggested.

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Jothi Venkat

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