Methamphetamine abuse linked to underage sex, smoking and drinking

October 27, 2008

Children and adolescents who abuse alcohol or are sexually active are more likely to take methamphetamines (MA), also known as 'meth' or 'speed'. Research published today in the open access journal BMC Pediatrics reveals the risk factors associated with MA use, in both low-risk children (those who don't take drugs) and high-risk children (those who have taken other drugs or who have ever attended juvenile detention centres).

MA is a stimulant, usually smoked, snorted or injected. It produces sensations of euphoria, lowered inhibitions, feelings of invincibility, increased wakefulness, heightened sexual experiences, and hyperactivity resulting from increased energy for extended periods of time. According to the lead author of this study, Terry P. Klassen of the University of Alberta, Canada, "MA is produced, or 'cooked', quickly, reasonably simply, and cheaply by using legal and readily available ingredients with recipes that can be found on the internet".

Because of the low cost, ready availability and legal status of the drug, long-term use can be a serious problem. In order to assess the risk factors that are associated with people using MA, Klassen and his team carried out an analysis of twelve different medical studies, combining their results to get a bigger picture of the MA problem. They said, "Within the low-risk group, there were some clear patterns of risk factors associated with MA use. A history of engaging in behaviors such as sexual activity, alcohol consumption and smoking was significantly associated with MA use among low-risk youth. Engaging in these kinds of behaviors may be a gateway for MA use or vice versa. A homosexual or bisexual lifestyle is also a risk factor."

Amongst high-risk youth, the risk factors the authors identified were, "growing up in an unstable family environment (e.g., family history of crime, alcohol use and drug use) and having received treatment for psychiatric conditions. Among high-risk youth, being female was also a risk factor".

Source: BioMed Central

Explore further: Antibiotic reduces infection risk in young leukemia patients

Related Stories

Antibiotic reduces infection risk in young leukemia patients

September 14, 2017
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital researchers have identified an antibiotic that significantly reduced the odds of infections in children starting treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) without an apparent increase ...

Epigenetic 'fingerprint' identifies diabetes risk

September 14, 2017
Deakin researchers have identified an epigenetic marker that predicts risk of type 2 diabetes in women with gestational diabetes.

Marijuana may produce psychotic-like effects in high-risk individuals

September 13, 2017
Marijuana may bring on temporary paranoia and other psychosis-related effects in individuals at high risk of developing a psychotic disorder, finds a preliminary study from researchers at Columbia University Medical Center ...

Lower thyroid stimulating hormone levels elevate risk of thyroid cancer

September 14, 2017
There is an increased risk of thyroid cancer associated with lower-than-normal thyroid hormone levels, a finding that could have a major impact on patients fighting the disease.

Caffeine linked to lower risk of death in women with diabetes

September 13, 2017
Women with diabetes who regularly drink caffeinated coffee or tea may live longer than those who don't consume caffeine at all, according to new research being presented at this year's European Association for the Study of ...

Treating acute pain in opioid-dependent patients: Review and recommendations

September 13, 2017
As healthcare providers see more patients with opioid abuse and dependence, they face a difficult challenge: What's the best way to manage acute pain without contributing to the patient's opioid use disorder (OUD)? A review ...

Recommended for you

Drug therapy from lethal bacteria could reduce kidney transplant rejection

August 3, 2017
An experimental treatment derived from a potentially deadly microorganism may provide lifesaving help for kidney transplant patients, according to an international study led by investigators at Cedars-Sinai.

Exploring the potential of human echolocation

June 25, 2017
People who are visually impaired will often use a cane to feel out their surroundings. With training and practice, people can learn to use the pitch, loudness and timbre of echoes from the cane or other sounds to navigate ...

Team eradicates hepatitis C in 10 patients following lifesaving transplants from infected donors

April 30, 2017
Ten patients at Penn Medicine have been cured of the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) following lifesaving kidney transplants from deceased donors who were infected with the disease. The findings point to new strategies for increasing ...

'bench to bedside to bench': Scientists call for closer basic-clinical collaborations

March 24, 2017
In the era of genome sequencing, it's time to update the old "bench-to-bedside" shorthand for how basic research discoveries inform clinical practice, researchers from The Jackson Laboratory (JAX), National Human Genome Research ...

The ethics of tracking athletes' biometric data

January 18, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—Whether it is a FitBit or a heart rate monitor, biometric technologies have become household devices. Professional sports leagues use some of the most technologically advanced biodata tracking systems to ...

Financial ties between researchers and drug industry linked to positive trial results

January 18, 2017
Financial ties between researchers and companies that make the drugs they are studying are independently associated with positive trial results, suggesting bias in the evidence base, concludes a study published by The BMJ ...

7 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

dirk_bruere
3.8 / 5 (4) Oct 27, 2008
Juvenile delinquents (old speak) indulge in anti-social and/or deviant behaviour. Another first from the University of the Obvious. I bet they also steal things as well, but I'd need a big research grant to prove that one.
COCO
2 / 5 (3) Oct 28, 2008
this is a minor problem - nopun intended - compared to the horror and filth of marijauna there is really no comparsion. Let us focus our resources on putting these users into long term jail sentences - then we can deal with this wee deviance.
makotech222
Oct 28, 2008
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Quantum_Conundrum
not rated yet Oct 28, 2008
Wow, people who commit one crime or immoral act are more likely to commit a crime or immoral act of another type.

It took "research" to discover this?!
Crossrip
Oct 29, 2008
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
rubberman
Oct 30, 2008
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Roach
not rated yet Oct 31, 2008
I'd be more impressed if they found a case of children using illegal substances that did not break any laws. That would be interesting. Not to be overly blunt but yes the same kids who use illegal substances also don't have a problem with "lesser" offences. DUH

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.