Methamphetamine: an update on epidemiology, pharmacology, clinical phenomenology, and treatment literature

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2014 Oct 1;143:11-21. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2014.08.003. Epub 2014 Aug 17.

Abstract

Background: Despite initial reports of a decline in use in the early 2000s, methamphetamine remains a significant public health concern with known neurotoxic and neurocognitive effects to the user. The goal of this review is to update the literature on methamphetamine use and addiction since its assent to peak popularity in 1990s.

Methods: We first review recent epidemiological reports with a focus on methamphetamine accessibility, changes in use and disorder prevalence rates over time, and accurate estimates of the associated burden of care to the individual and society. Second, we review methamphetamine pharmacology literature with emphasis on the structural and functional neurotoxic effects associated with repeated use of the drug. Third, we briefly outline the findings on methamphetamine-related neurocognitive deficits as assessed via behavioral and neuroimaging paradigms. Lastly, we review the clinical presentation of methamphetamine addiction and the evidence supporting the available psychosocial and pharmacological treatments within the context of an addiction biology framework.

Conclusion: Taken together, this review provides a broad-based update of the available literature covering methamphetamine research over the past two decades and concludes with recommendations for future research.

Keywords: Addiction; Medication development; Methamphetamine; Stimulants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amphetamine-Related Disorders / diagnosis
  • Amphetamine-Related Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Amphetamine-Related Disorders / therapy*
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / adverse effects
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / pharmacology
  • Cognition / drug effects
  • Cost of Illness
  • Humans
  • Methamphetamine / adverse effects*
  • Methamphetamine / pharmacokinetics
  • Methamphetamine / pharmacology*
  • Prevalence

Substances

  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Methamphetamine