184438 Methamphetamine use and its impacts on health in San Diego County, California

Monday, October 27, 2008: 9:06 AM

Robin A. Pollini, PhD MPH , School of Medicine, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA
San Diego County is a major distribution center for methamphetamine entering the U.S. from Mexico, where the majority of methamphetamine sold in the U.S. is produced. The county has battled an early and plentiful supply of methamphetamine, which has substantially affected the health of its residents. In 2006, 45% of San Diego's 11,800 drug treatment admissions were for primary methamphetamine abuse; an additional 13% involved methamphetamine as a secondary drug of abuse. The Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) recorded more emergency department reports involving methamphetamine (n=1159) than any other illicit drug and the medical examiner reported more overdose deaths involving amphetamines (n=88) than involving heroin/morphine (n=84). Methamphetamine also has a substantial presence among individuals with criminal justice involvement. Among San Diego arrestees, 47% of females, 36% of males and 10% of juveniles tested positive for methamphetamine in 2006.

Despite high levels of methamphetamine use, there were indications of reduced use in 2006. Overdose deaths involving amphetamines in 2006 were down 21% from 2005, and prevalence of methamphetamine among male, female and juvenile arrestees was lower in 2006 than 2005. Law enforcement reports that methamphetamine supply in San Diego is down, and arrestees report that methamphetamine was less available, more expensive and in higher demand than in 2005. This presentation will examine the effects of methamphetamine use on health in San Diego and efforts in Mexico and the U.S. that may be contributing to the apparent recent reductions in its use and impacts.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe patterns of methamphetamine use in San Diego County 2. Characterize the adverse impacts of methamphetamine use on health in San Diego 3. Identify changes in drug supply and demand that influence methamphetamine use and its health impacts

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Area of research expertise
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.