A nationally representative analysis of “twin epidemics”: Rising rates of methamphetamine use among persons who use opioids

Justin C. Strickland, Jennifer R. Havens, William W. Stoops

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Recent data suggest increases in methamphetamine potency, affordability, and availability in the US. Other data indicate rising rates of methamphetamine use among patients seeking treatment for opioid use disorder. The extent to which similar increases in methamphetamine use have occurred for populations outside of a treatment context and for those reporting other substance use is unknown. Purpose: The current analysis used a nationally representative data source to evaluate recent trends in past month methamphetamine use based on opioid use history. Methods: Data from the 2015–2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) were analyzed for yearly variations in past month methamphetamine use by opioid use history. Sensitivity analyses assessed if these trends were specific to methamphetamine use and to persons reporting opioid use. Results: Significant increases in past month methamphetamine use were observed for persons reporting past month heroin use, past year heroin use disorder, and past year prescription opioid use disorder. Among individuals reporting past month heroin use, for example, methamphetamine use tripled from 9.0% in 2015 to 30.2% in 2017. These associations were specific to methamphetamine with little change in other substance use. Similar increases in methamphetamine use were not observed for populations reporting other illicit substance use with the exception of prescription tranquilizers. Conclusions: These results provide data corroborating evidence of emergent concerns related to methamphetamine use in the US. Such findings highlight the importance of considering global drivers of substance use to avoid cyclic waves of new and emerging substance use crises.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107592
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Volume204
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier B.V.

Keywords

  • Heroin
  • Methamphetamine
  • NSDUH
  • Opioid
  • Polysubstance
  • Stimulant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'A nationally representative analysis of “twin epidemics”: Rising rates of methamphetamine use among persons who use opioids'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this