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Race, gender affect meth use.

Nonmedical use of prescription stimulants and methamphetamine by adolescents aged 12-17 years is significantly associated with use of marijuana and other illegal drugs and also with the use of mental health services, a study of more than 17,000 teenagers shows.

To assess the risk factors for stimulant abuse in adolescents, Mindy A. Herman-Stahl, Ph.D., and her colleagues at RTI International reviewed data on adolescents from the 2002 National Survey of Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), an annual survey of the civilian, noninstitutionalized population aged 12 years and older (J. Adolesc. Health 2006;39:374-80).

Overall, adolescents who reported treatment for mental health problems during the year before the survey were more than one and a half times as likely to report either amphetamine use or nonmedical prescription stimulant use during the past year. Also, marijuana use was more than four times as likely among the methamphetamine users and more than twice as likely among the illicit stimulant users.

After controlling for demographic variables, methamphetamine use was more than twice as likely among girls vs. boys and significantly less likely among non-Hispanic blacks vs. non-Hispanic whites. There were no racial or gender differences linked to nonprescription stimulant use, but significant associations were found with high levels of family conflict and sensation-seeking behavior.

Methamphetamine use was associated with deviant behavior such as selling drugs and binge drinking, which suggests that adolescents who use methamphetamine may be more likely to be exposed to delinquent peers and dangerous environments, the researchers said.

The study was built on a project that received funding from Eli Lilly & Co.
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Title Annotation:use of methamphetamine by teenagers
Author:Splete, Heidi
Publication:Clinical Psychiatry News
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2006
Words:264
Previous Article:Risky sex in black teens.
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