Deaths from methamphetamine overdoses surged across the United States between 2011 and 2018, according to a new study.
The deaths rose across all racial and ethnic groups, but death rates were highest among American Indians and Alaska Natives, researchers report in JAMA Psychiatry.
“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,” Nora D. Volkow, M.D., director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and a senior author of the study, said in a news release. “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.”
There are currently no medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treating methamphetamine use disorder or reversing overdoses. A recent study found that a two-drug combination may help treat addiction to meth.