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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Emergency Room Visits Related to Methamphetamine

English: Glass pipe used for smoking methamphe...
The most recent data indicates that methamphetamine use may be on the rise again after significantly decreasing between 2005 and 2007, according to a new government report. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) report found that emergency room visits related to methamphetamine use increased from about 68,000 in 2007, to almost 103,000 in 2011, HealthDay reports.

The data “shows that methamphetamine use may be on the rise again, and we must do everything we can to address this serious public health problem,” said Dr. H. Westley Clark, Director of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, in a news release.

The report showed that methamphetamine related emergency room visits increased dramatically among people ages 25 to 34 and those 55 and older. In 2011, 62 percent of ER visits that involved methamphetamine also involved other drugs, most commonly marijuana followed by alcohol.

The silver lining, if there is one to be found, is that the rise in emergency room visits gives health professionals an opportunity to discuss the nature of methamphetamine addiction, the dangers of continued use, and highlight some options for receiving help.

“One important step is to use the hospital emergency department visit as a critical opportunity to talk to, and intervene with, people using this drug so that they can more fully understand its dangers and where they can turn to for help,” Clark pointed out.

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