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meth Methamphetamine in Rural Areas
April 30, 2007

Drug problems exist in both big cities (urban areas) and small towns (rural areas). However, people who live in rural areas and use illegal drugs may face different problems than those people who use drugs in big cities. In fact, new research shows that the characteristics of rural users of methamphetamine are different from their counterparts in urban areas.

meth Methamphetamine is a highly addictive central nervous system stimulant drug that can damage the brain. Long-term use of methamphetamines may cause hallucinations, depression, and aggressive behavior. To investigate the differences between meth users in rural and urban areas, scientists at the University of Nebraska studied 78 meth users who lived in rural areas and 94 meth users from urban areas.

Compared to urban methamphetamine users, rural methamphetamine users:


These results suggest that rural meth users face higher risks associated with their drug use. For example, the higher rates of intravenous drug use in rural areas may lead to more people with infectious diseases such as hepatitis and AIDS. Higher levels of alcohol abuse may lead to more cases of alcoholism and liver disease. Unfortunately, rural areas often lack the mental health and medical facilities necessary to treat drug addiction.

References and more information:

  1. Grant, K.M., Kelley, S.S., Agrawal, S., Meza, J.L., Meyer, J.R. and Romberger, D.J., Methamphetamine use in rural midwesterners, American J. Addiction, 16:79-84, 2007.
  2. Methamphetamine May Cause Long-Lasting Brain Damage - Neuroscience for Kids
  3. Meth Mouth - Neuroscience for Kids
  4. Methamphetamine - National Institute on Drug Abuse
  5. Effects of Drugs on the Nervous System - Neuroscience for Kids

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