The face of meth addiction: Who uses methamphetamine? (INFOGRAPHIC)

What does the typical meth user look like? In this infographic you can explore the age, gender, past year and past month meth use, mode of methamphetamine administration and emergency room visits.

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Who uses methamphetamine in the U.S.?

According to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), approximately 1.2 million American citizens or 0.4% of the entire population reported past year meth use, while 440,000 or 0.2% of the population reported to have used the drug within the last 30 days before the survey. In 2008, there was a total estimate of around 13 million Americans aged 12+ that have reported using meth in their lifetime, 529K of which were regular users.

In 2007, 4.5% of high-school seniors and 4.1% of tenth graders in the U.S. reported using methamphetamine at least once in their life. The 2012 Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey of adolescent drug use and attitudes reported that around 1% of teenagers report lifetime meth use. More specifically for the year 2014:

The face of meth addiction: Who uses methamphetamine? (INFOGRAPHIC)

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  • 1% of 8th grade students
  • 1.4% of 10th grade students
  • 1.9% of 12th grade students

Meth use dangers

According to the 2011 DAWN report on drug-related episodes from hospital emergency departments or EDs throughout the United States, meth accounted for about 102,000 ED visits. Out of all those EDs, 62% involved meth along with another substance of choice. That same year, meth was the 4th most mentioned illicit drug in ED visits following cocaine (1st most mentioned drug), marijuana (2nd most mentioned drug), and heroin (3rd most mentioned drug).

However, long-term exposure to this drug can lead to numerous adverse effects of meth. Besides serious psychological and physical health damage, meth can take its toll on many aspects of users’ life, including financial stability, employment status, family and romantic relationships, legal implications, etc.

The face of meth addiction questions

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Reference Sources: DAWN: Emergency Department Visits Involving Methamphetamine: 2007 to 2011
DrugAbuse: What is the scope of methamphetamine abuse in the United States
DrugAbuse: Methamphetamine History and Statistics: Drug facts – nationwide trends
SAMHSA: Behavioral Health Trends in the United States: Results from the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health
Monitoring The Future: 2015 Overview the Sponsored by The National Institute on Drug Abuse at The National Institutes of Health Key Findings on Adolescent Drug Use
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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