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Meth treatment
programs face growing demand

Meth treatment
programs face growing demand

The number of people seeking treatment for methamphetamine abuse more than quadrupled from 1993 to 2003, a report released Thursday said. States in the Midwest and South that had few meth abuse patients a decade ago are now seeing a sharp rise in the rate of admissions to treatment centers, according to the report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

The findings mirror the trend of meth abuse moving gradually from the West--where the drug first became popular--across the Midwest and South to the East Coast.

Crystal meth is a popular club drug used by gay men, particularly young gay men in urban areas. In a 2003 study, led by the Chicago Department of Public Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 10% of gay men said they had used crystal meth at least once in the previous year, compared with 0.7% of the general U.S. population. In addition, of those gay men who reported meth use, 20% said they used it at least once per week. A joint study conducted from 2000 to 2001 by the University of California, San Francisco's AIDS Health Project; the CDC; and the San Francisco Department of Public Health found that those who used meth were three times as likely as nonusers to contract HIV.

Nationwide, the admission rate for treatment of methamphetamine or amphetamine addiction rose from 28,000 in 1993 to nearly 136,000 patients in 2003, the report said.

The report found 18 states with meth treatment rates higher than the national rate: Arkansas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

Northeastern states had low rates of treatment admissions for meth and amphetamine abuse in 1993, and those rates remained low in 2003, the report said. (AP, with additional reporting by

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