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Meth Matters: Report on Methamphetamine Users in Five Western Cities

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 1999
81 pages
Publication Series
Data from methamphetamine (meth) users interviewed in the Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring (ADAM) Program between October 1996 and September 1997 were used to document methamphetamine use and its consequences among arrestees in Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Jose in California; Phoenix; and Portland.
A majority of meth users were white. One-third of the adult meth users were female. The average age of meth users was 30, slightly younger than the age of cocaine and heroin users in another study. About 40 percent of the adult meth users were charged with a drug or alcohol violation, about 25 percent were booked for a property offense, and 16 percent were arrested for violent behavior. Fifteen percent of the 929 adult meth users reported having possessed a gun within 30 days of the interview. Meth users had higher rates of overall drug use than did the total sample of ADAM arrestees. Ten percent of the meth users indicated that parents or other family members introduced them to meth. Most began using meth with their peers to experiment, have more energy, and to get high. Most meth users had a main drug source; features of the meth market suggest the need for drug law enforcement approaches different from those for other drugs. Findings suggested that the production and use patterns of meth differ from those of other illegal drugs and that these differences have policy implications for prevention, intervention, and control strategies. Figures, tables, appended instruments, and 45 references

Date Published: April 1, 1999