National headlines about methamphetamine have appeared scarce in light of the recent attention to the opioid crisis, but the most recently available federal data show a continued upward trend in hospital visits related to abuse of the stimulant.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) stated last week that hospital emergency department visits related to methamphetamine use in the U.S. increased from just under 68,000 in 2007 to just under 103,000 in 2011. That reversed a downward pattern in visits that had occurred from 2005-2007.
Hospital visits related to methamphetamine saw particularly sharp increases in the 25-to-34 and 55-plus age groups from 2007-2011, according to a SAMHSA report based on data from the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) public health surveillance system.
According to the report, 62% of methamphetamine-related emergency department visits in 2011 involved use of the drug with another substance, with marijuana and alcohol the two most common other substances used in these cases.