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Annu Rev Public Health. 2010;31:385-98. doi: 10.1146/annurev.publhealth.012809.103600.

The methamphetamine problem in the United States.

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Integrated Substance Abuse Programs, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90025, USA.


Significant public health problems associated with methamphetamine (MA) production and use in the United States have emerged over the past 25 years; however, there has been considerable controversy about the size of the problem. Epidemiological indicators have provided a mixed picture. National surveys of the adult U.S. population and school-based populations have consistently been used to support the position that MA use is a relatively minor concern. However, many other data sources, including law-enforcement groups, welfare agencies, substance abuse treatment program admissions, criminal justice agencies, and state/county executives indicate that MA is a very significant public health problem for many communities throughout much of the country. In this article, we describe (a) the historical underpinnings of the MA problem, (b) epidemiological trends in MA use,

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