A new study published in JAMA Psychiatry shows methamphetamine overdose deaths surged in an eight-year period in the United States. The findings revealed rapid rises across all racial and ethnic groups but American Indians and Alaska Natives had the highest death rates overall.
The study highlights the urgent need to develop culturally tailored, gender-specific prevention and treatment strategies for methamphetamine use disorder to meet the unique needs of those who are most vulnerable to the growing overdose crisis.
“While much attention is focused on the opioid crisis, a methamphetamine crisis has been quietly, but actively, gaining steam—particularly among American Indians and Alaska Natives, who are disproportionately affected by a number of health conditions,” said Nora D. Volkow, M.D., NIDA director and a senior author of the study. “American Indian and Alaska Native populations experience structural disadvantages but have cultural strengths that can be leveraged to prevent methamphetamine use and improve health outcomes for those living with addiction.”