Advertisement

Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 97, Issue 4, pp 320–324 | Cite as

Methamphetamine Use Among Marginalized Youth in British Columbia

  • Ian MartinEmail author
  • Thomas M. Lampinen
  • Doug McGhee
Article
  • 1 Downloads

Abstract

Background: Crystal methamphetamine (MA) is a powerful, highly addictive central nervous stimulant that can cause serious health consequences including neurotoxicity, paranoia, psychosis, depression, violence, and death. The objective of this study is to assess the prevalence and characteristics of MA use among two marginalized populations of youth (less than 30 years of age) in British Columbia.

Methods: A self-administered questionnaire was administered to a convenience sample of Vancouver street-involved youth (SY) and Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/ Transgender/Questioning (LGBTQ) centre youth in Vancouver and Victoria. Items measured include: participants’ demographic characteristics; illicit substance use, including details of MA use; attempts at recovery and treatment; and potential consequences of MA use.

Results: One hundred and eighty of the 200 questionnaires distributed were completed. Sixty-seven percent of the SY and 24% of the LGBTQ youth reported ever having used MA. Of these: 43% had used within the last week; 46–57% used multiple times per day in their lifetime; they spent a maximum of 7–9 consecutive days awake; they began use in their middle to late teens; and half had sought help for a substance use disorder. SY who used MA within the last week were more likely to also use marijuana, cigarettes, heroin, ecstasy, and ketamine. Previous use of MA was associated with reports of auditory hallucinations.

Conclusion: The current study demonstrates a high prevalence of MA use in two marginalized populations of youth. Use in sexual minorities, resulting psychopathology, and concurrent substance use all have important implications in delivery of service, prevention, and subsequent research.

MeSH terms

Methamphetamine amphetamine-related disorders psychosis, amphetamine-induced homosexuality questionnaires 

Résumé

Contexte: La méthamphétamine en cristaux (MA) est un stimulant très puissant du système nerveux central. Elle provoque une forte dépendance et cause des problèmes de santé graves tels que neurotoxicité, paranoïa, psychose, dépression, violence et décès. L’objectif de cette étude est d’évaluer la prévalence et les caractéristiques de la consommation de MA chez les jeunes (moins de 30 ans) de deux populations marginalisées de la Colombie-Britannique.

Méthode: Un questionnaire auto-administré a été distribué à un échantillon de jeunes de la rue de Vancouver et du centre jeunesse Questionnement/Lesbiennes/Gais/Bisexuels/ Transsexuels (QLGBT) de Vancouver et Victoria. Les questions portaient sur les caractéristiques démographiques des participants; la consommation de substances illicites, et particulièrement celle de MA; les tentatives de sevrage et de traitement; et les conséquences potentielles de la consommation de MA.

Résultats: Cent quatre-vingts des 200 questionnaires distribués ont été remplis. Soixante-sept pour cent des jeunes de la rue de Vancouver et 24 % des jeunes du QLGBT ont indiqué avoir déjà consommé de la MA. Parmi ceux-ci, 43 % en avait fait usage dans la semaine précédente et 46 à 57 % en avaient consommé plus d’une fois par jour; ils pouvaient rester éveillés pendant 7 à 9 jours consécutifs. Ils avaient commencé à consommer au milieu ou vers la fin de l’adolescence, et près de la moitié d’entre eux avaient cherché de l’aide en toxicomanie. Les jeunes de la rue qui avaient consommé de la MA au cours de la semaine précédente consommaient également de la marijuana, du tabac, de l’héroïne, de l’ecstasy et de la kétamine. La consommation de MA était associée à des hallucinations auditives.

Conclusion: Cette étude met en évidence une prévalence élevée de consommation de MA dans deux populations de jeunes marginalisés de la Colombie-Britannique. La consommation de MA par les minorités sexuelles, les psychopathologies secondaires à la consommation de MA et la coconsommation de substances ont d’importantes implications pour la prestation de services, la prévention et la recherche

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Rawson RA. Treatment for Stimulant Use Disorders. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 1999.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Rawson RA, Anglin MD, Ling W. Will the methamphetamine problem go away? J Addict Dis 2002;21(1):5–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Srisurapanont M, Jarusuraisin N, Kittiratanapaiboon P. Treatment for amphetamine dependence and abuse. Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews 2002(3).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Vaccarino F. Neuroscience of psychoactive substance use and dependence. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, 2004.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Johnston LD, O’Malley PM, Bachman JG, Schulenberg JE. Monitoring the Future, National Survey Results on Drug Use, 1975–2003: Volume I, Secondary School Students. Bethesda, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2004.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    May L, Katzenstein D, Liebel A, Saewyc E, Skay C. Healthy Youth Development - Highlights from the 2003 Adolescent Health Survey. Vancouver, BC: McCreary Centre Society, 2004;17.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Adlaf EM, Paglia A. Drug Use Among Ontario Students 1977–2003 OSDUS HIGHLIGHTS. Toronto, ON: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, 2003;25.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Methamphetamine Deaths in B.C. Vancouver: BC Coroners Service, 2005.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Kalant K. The Pharmacology and toxicology of “ecstasy” (MDMA) and related drugs. CMAJ 2001;165(7):917–28.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Morris K. Concern over research reawakens ecstasy neurotoxicity debate. The Lancet 2003;2:650.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Clements K, Gleghorn A, Garcia D, Katz M, Marx R. A risk profile of street youth in Northern California: Implications for genderspecific human immunodeficiency virus prevention. J Adolesc Health 1997;20:343–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Valliant GE. Section 1, Chapter 1: Natural history of addiction and pathways to recovery. In: Graham AW, Schultz TK, Mayo-Smith MF, Ries RK (Eds.), Principles of Addiction Medicine. Chevy Chase, MD: American Society of Addiction Medicine, 2003.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Sekine Y, Iyo M, Ouchi Y, Matsunaga T, Tsukada H, Okada H, et al. Methamphetaminerelated psychiatric symptoms and reduced brain dopamine transporters studied with PET. Am J Psychiatry 2001;158:1206–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Taylor C. Methamphetamine psychosis consultations by acute care psychiatry at St. Paul’s Hospital. Vancouver, 2004.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Halkitis PN, Parsons JT, Stirratt MJ. A double epidemic: Crystal methamphetamine drug use in relation to HIV transmission among gay men. J Homosexuality 2001;41(2):17–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Buxton J. Vancouver Drug Use Epidemiology. Vancouver: Canadian Community Epidemiology Network on Drug Use, 2003;42.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Darke S. Self-report among injecting drug users: A review. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 1998;51:253–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Lampinen T. Vanguard Cohort of Gay Men. Vancouver: BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, 2004.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Trussler T, Marchand R, Barker A. Sex Now by the Numbers: A statistical guide to health planning for gay men. Vancouver: Community-Based Research Centre, 2003.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian Martin
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Thomas M. Lampinen
    • 3
    • 4
  • Doug McGhee
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Family PracticeUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Vancouver Coastal HealthVancouverCanada
  3. 3.BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDSVancouverCanada
  4. 4.Department of Health Care and EpidemiologyUniversity of British ColumbiaCanada
  5. 5.Victoria Youth ClinicVictoriaCanada

Personalised recommendations