Amphetamines: Usage trends

Last modified: Thursday, 25. December 2008 - 5:04 am


The use and abuse of amphetamine-like stimulants is a growing global problem, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The United Nations estimated that in the year 2000, 29 million people around the world abused various types of amphetamine stimulants in the previous decade. That figure was larger than the number of people consuming cocaine and opiates combined. According to the 1999 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, 9.4 million Americans had tried the MAP form of amphetamine during their lifetimes.

Scope and severity

No specific total amphetamine-use statistics are available. However, according to the year 2000 report of the Drug Abuse Warning Network, there was a 35% increase from 1999 to 2000 in the number of hospital emergency department (ED) cases in which amphetamines were mentioned. DAWN is a national surveillance system that collects data on drug-related emergency department visits.

Age, ethnic, and gender trends

There are few studies revealing age, ethnic, and gender trends in amphetamine abuse. According to a 1998 article in Journal of Psychology, the demographic characteristics of amphetamine/methamphetamine abusers changed in the mid-1990s compared to a period only five years previously. Young Caucasian white men who are unemployed and single have been especially likely to be amphetamine users, according to researcher John B. Murray. However, “more married, widowed, and divorced people” and fewer Caucasians were reported in outpatient and inpatient populations studied in 1994-1995 compared to a previous 1989-1994 study.


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