Preliminary Results of Survey of Methamphetamine Users: Drug Use Preferences and Perceptions of Bene...
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Preliminary Results of Survey of Methamphetamine Users: Drug Use Preferences and Perceptions of Benefits and Risk of Methamphetamine Use J. C. Maxwell, University of Texas at Austin.

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Preliminary Results of Survey of Methamphetamine Users: Drug Use Preferences and Perceptions of Benefits and Risk of Methamphetamine Use

J. C. Maxwell, University of Texas at Austin

AIM.Methamphetamine abuse continues to be a problem, but there has been little recent research into the reasons for its use. This paper seeks to determine the attitudes of methamphetamine users towards the benefits and risks of methamphetamine use and the problems associated with use, including use of other drugs and alcohol.

METHODS.This is a survey of 222 patients newly admitted to residential treatment in Texas who participated in a structured survey using computer-assisted interviewing. Inclusion criteria included having used methamphetamine at least six times in the last six months. Statistical methods include t-tests, chi squares and correlations, with significance set at .05. Additional interviews are planned.

FINDINGS.Fifty-four percent were female, 83% were White, 11% Hispanic, average age was 32; the lag between first regular use and admission to treatment was 9.3 years. Mean score on the Severity of Dependence Scale was 7.5. Routes of administration of methamphetamine included smoking (60%), injecting (46%), snorting (34%), swallowing (19%), and shelving/shafting (3%). While these subjects reported use of multiple drugs, they were consistent in their favorite drugs used across time.

CONCLUSIONS.The strong negative attitudes towards risk of addiction/dependence reflect the severity of problems experienced by the respondents after having recently entered treatment. These preliminary findings show the extent of co-occurring mental health and substance abuse problems along with use of multiple drugs and the concerns about the risks of mental conditions and legal, family, and other personal problems provide insight into factors which could be appropriate for use in prevention and intervention efforts.


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