The 2007 Monitoring the Future Survey found out that the abuse of methamphetamine among students, though a cause for worry is dwindling with time. It was found out that 1. 8% of 8th graders, 2. 8% of 10th graders and 3. 0% of 12th graders had experimented with the drug. Statistics for previous month abusers of the drug include; 0. 6% for 12th graders, 0. 6% for 8th graders ands 0. 4% for 10th graders. Past year decrease in abuse was observed as 8th (1. 8% to 1. 1%), 12th (2. 5% to 1. 7%) and 12th (2. 5% to 1. 7%) (Volkow, Chang, Wang, 2001, p. 385).
An estimated 731,000 active users of methamphetamine 12 years and older existed in the United States in 2006 representing 0. 3% of the population. The mean age for first-time users was 22. 2 years in 2006 compared to a mean age of 18. 6 in 2005. Methamphetamine abuse for 26-34 year olds increased between 2005 and 2006. In 1999, 4. 3% of Americans tried methamphetamine with 18-25 year olds being the biggest abusers (5. 3%). The 12- 17 year old age group recorded a 1. 4% figure of abusers. 26 year-olds and above showed a 4. 5% abuse figure. A 7.
5% proportion of high school seniors had experimented with the drug in the year 2000, signaling a drop from the 1999 8. 3% figure. Eighth graders lifetime use of methamphetamine was 4. 2% and that for 10th graders 6. 9%. A 4. 3% proportion of high school seniors had used the drug in the previous year and 1. 9% in the previous month (Yudko, Harrold, Sandra, 2003, 10). Methamphetamine abuse among 12 year olds and above were highest in Western United States (1. 6%), the South followed (0. 7%), the Midwest (0. 5%), and North East trailed (0. 3%). In Hawaii methamphetamine is readily available and hence its abuse is rampant.
The Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring program established that 35. 9% of males arrested from January to September 2001 tested positive for methamphetamine abuse. Both males and females showed higher rate of methamphetamine abuse in Honolulu than for marijuana (28. 8%) and cocaine (11. 2%). The US Department of Justice asserts that Honolulu has the highest proportion of male methamphetamine abusers arrestees (30%) (Ruppeth, Heaton, Carey, 2004, p. 13). Methamphetamine is favored by young women because it is readily available, affordable is a good appetite suppressant, heightens libido, boosts energy and livens the mood.
Methamphetamine differs from other drugs in several ways, the first of which is that it is man made unlike drugs like cocaine which is obtained from plants. Secondly, the typical methamphetamine user ingests it on a daily basis, whereas drugs like cocaine are used periodically for recreational purposes. The effects derived from methamphetamine lasts for 8-24 hours with cocaine having only a 20-30 minutes period of excitation (Volkow, Chang, Wang, 2001, p. 387). Another difference between methamphetamine and cocaine is the activity they induce at the nerve cells.
The two drugs result in the accumulation of dopamine and serotonin in the pleasure area of the brain. Dopamine initiates stimulation and euphoria, a feeling of well-being. Methamphetamine blocks the feedback mechanism of nerve cells, also called the transporter, which absorbs and stores the chemical. Methamphetamine also reverses the transporter hence forcing the dopamine to come out faster. Dopamine reserves dwindle because of the inability of nerve cells to cope with the high amount of dopamine released and not taken back to the cells.
Research evidence has pinpointed damage to the nerve cells as a consequence of this cellular activity. References Rippeth, J. D. , Heaton, R. K. , Carey, C. L. (2004). Methamphetamine dependence increases risk of neuropsychological impairment in HIV infected persons. Neuropsychology Sociology, 10, 1–14. Volkow, N. D. , Chang, L. , Wang, G. J. (2001). Association of dopamine transporter reduction with psychomotor impairment in methamphetamine abusers. Am J Psychiatry 158, 377–394. Yudko, E. , Hall, H. V. , McPherson, S. B. (2003). Methamphetamine Use: Clinical and forensic aspects. Klagenfurt, Australia: CRC Press, 1-295