An alarming uptick of amphetamine use, such as crystal meth and speed, has quietly taken center stage for some hospitals also struggling with opioids abuse. Between 2008 and 2015, Amphetamine-related hospitalizations jumped by about 245%, according to the American Medical Association’s latest report. The increase is a startling reminder that the addiction epidemic isn’t isolated to opioids, which rose about 46% during the same period.
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health [NSDUH] recently also reported that there are significant gaps in treatment for those with a substance use disorder or with a mental illness. People with mental illness often have suicidal ideations, and the rate of suicide is much higher for people who receive inadequate medical intervention, such as detox and treatment. Drug addiction and mental illness are both medical issues that directly affect a person’s quality of life and can be life-threatening.
More Amphetamine Use Means More Emergencies
Emergency Rooms across the West and Midwest. Patients who have overdosed experience a range of overdose symptoms. People who are arrested while under the influence often arrive in the ER accompanied by police.
Paranoia, high heart rates, psychosis, and more specifically delusions of parasitosis – the belief that you are covered in insects — are common reasons people who use meth land in the hospital. And the rates of people who make it to the hospital are going up at a staggering rate. Medical examiners in Texas and Colorado have also seen the same thing, as meth overdoses begin to outpace heroin overdoses.
Methamphetamine isn’t the only drug that is considered an amphetamine or “uppers.” Drugs like Adderal, prescribed for people with ADHD, Ritalin and diet pills are often abused to get similar effects.
As opioids become harder to get, police said, more people have turned to meth, which is inexpensive and readily available.
In the US over 10,000 people died from meth overdoses. Overdoses wreak havoc on the body, often causing multiple organs to fail and leading to heart attacks or strokes.
Meth and other amphetamines can cause irreversible damage to the heart or brain.