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Covered by opioids, methamphetamine is back in force



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By Anna Gorman, Kaiser Health News

The number of people hospitalized for amphetamine use is skyrocketing in the United States, but the resurgence of the drug has been largely overshadowed by the country's focus on opioids.

Amphetamine-related hospitalizations increased by about 245% between 2008 and 2015, according to a study published last month in the Journal of the American Medical Association. This neutralizes the rise in hospitalizations of other drugs, such as opioids, which increased by about 46%. The most significant increases were registered in Western states.

It does not happen a day without me seeing someone addicted to methamphetamine. "

The increase in the number of hospitalizations and deaths due to amphetamines "has nothing to do with radar," said drug addiction researcher Jane Maxwell. "Nobody pays attention."

Doctors are seeing the drug reappearing in emergency departments, where patients arrive agitated, paranoid and aggressive. Paramedics and police officers see him in the streets, where the suspects' heart rate is so high that they have to be taken to the hospital for a medical certificate before being incarcerated. And forensic scientists see it at the morgue, where in some states, such as Texas and Colorado, overdoses of methamphetamine have overtaken those of opioid heroin.

Amphetamines are stimulant drugs, legally prescribed to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and illegally processed into Methamphetamine. Most of the hospitalizations during the study were due to methamphetamine use.


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