What is the global prevalence of methamphetamine toxicity?

Updated: Oct 29, 2020
  • Author: John R Richards, MD, FAAEM; Chief Editor: Jeter (Jay) Pritchard Taylor, III, MD  more...
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Answer

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimates that worldwide in 2018 there were 27 million past-year users of amphetamine-type stimulants, which includes methamphetamine. Past-year use was particularly high in North America, Australia, and New Zealand. Methamphetamine is a feature of amphetamine-type stimulant markets worldwide, but is particularly dominant in East and Southeast Asian Oceania, and North America  In East and Southeast Asia, the market for both tablet and crystalline methamphetamine is large and growing. [2]

The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction reports that methamphetamine use has generally been low and was historically concentrated in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. In 2018, treatment program entrants reporting primary methamphetamine use were concentrated in Czechia, Germany, Slovakia, Poland, and Turkey. [28]  

An Australian study that used liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry to analyze wastewater (an increasingly popular method for monitoring trends of illicit drug use) reported that from 2009-2015, methamphetamine consumption increased fivefold. In the study, which involved wastewater from wastewater treatment plants in South East Queensland, methamphetamine residues were consistently detected in both urban and rural catchments. [29]


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