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Crystal Meth Addiction Statistics

Methamphetamine, a CNS stimulant, has been a highly abused drug for decades. It acts by increasing dopamine levels causing the user to attain an euphoric state. Once tolerance is reached, those who continue to take the drug will eventually have difficulty in attaining the same "high" feeling thus causing the repeated use and addiction. Because methamphetamine is a Schedule II drug, a prescription may be obtained even with its limited medical uses. However, countering the benefits are the millions of drug addicts around the world who remain to be physically and psychologically dependent on its purified addictive form more commonly known as crystal meth, chalk, ice, speed or glass. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has reported that approximately 500 metric tons of amphetamine and methamphetamine type drugs are made every year. This number is said to supply around 24.7 million drug abusers around the world.

For many years, methamphetamine abuse is most often seen among the youth. It started as a club drug which rose to being one of most popular abused stimulants today. Usually acquired from friends or acquaintances, concern for meth abuse is focused towards the fact that it has great appeal to the young generation. In some cases, young adults with a fairly stable educational or employment background turn into recreational drug users who get more and more addicted to crystal meth. What is of greater concern now is the fact that appeal of crystal meth is reaching teenagers as young as 12 years old.

Tallied reports have presented that there are approximately 13 million meth abusers. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, in 2009 alone, more than a million Americans aged 12 and above had used the drug at least once within the year prior to the survey. The same report revealed that there were approximately 353,000 current meth users in 2010. A study called Monitoring the Future conducted by the University of Michigan was also undergone which showed 8th to 12th graders abusing the drug at least once the year before. For 8th graders, 1.2 percent abused meth; 1.6 percent for 10th graders and 1 percent for 12th graders. However, the same survey has shown a substantial decrease in meth users aged 12 to 17 between the years 2002 to 2008. There was a 0.2 percent decrease for the said age group while use by 18 to 25 year olds went down from 0.6 percent to 0.2 percent by 2008. The survey has also shown that almost 5 percent of senior high school students have tried crystal meth at least once in their lifetime.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse, who funded the study, has seen a significant decline in meth abuse for both past-year and lifetime user surveys. It was estimated that there were 157,000 first time users in 2007 which went down to 105,000 in 2010. However, the total number of substance abuse cases remained at around 22 million for both 2002 and 2010. This data is important in the sense that although crystal meth abuse has decreased throughout the years, abuse for other addictive drug substances may have also increased. In another study, an increase of 3 percent in admission for drug treatments related to amphetamine and methamphetamine was observed from 1996 to 2006. Also, internet searches for "addiction treatment" or "crystal meth addiction symptoms" gives further credence to the fact that crystal meth abuse still needs to be given much attention.

As compared to the sudden rise of meth abuse in the 90's, we continue to see a constant decline today. However, certain areas in the United States are still being constantly monitored. States known to have high crystal meth use percentage such as the West Coast, Midwest and Hawaii are kept in a watch list. In 2007, 48.2 percent of admissions for drug and alcohol abuse in Hawaii were meth users. Although statistics may reflect the arrest of meth production in the U.S., authorities are still seeing a difficulty in stopping the supply that comes from other countries such as Mexico.

This highly addictive drug has been the cause of many serious physical and psychological problems. Its dangers go beyond addiction and health consequences which continue to strain the society. Since statistics show that it mostly common among the youth, extra vigilance is recommended for both parents and school administrators to assist in detecting crystal meth abuse by students both in high school and college.


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