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Study: Meth may jump start injection use

Experimenting with illegal drugs can quickly spiral into more risky behaviors with dire consequences. One of the most dangerous ways to use drugs is through injection, which can easily result in the spread of infections and communicable diseases. According to new study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, teens who use crystal methamphetamine are at increased risk for injecting other drugs. 

While meth is most commonly ingested through smoking or snorting, it is sometimes injected so that users can more quickly feel its euphoric effects. To conduct their study, researchers from the University of British Columbia followed 400 homeless teens and young adults living in Vancouver over the course of five years. At the beginning of the observation, all of the subjects were regular meth users, but none had taken the drug intravenously.

When the investigators followed up with the adolescents five years later, 16 percent of them were using injectable drugs. While the majority of them were still using meth, a few had moved on to other substances like heroin. The study authors noted in their report that of the intravenous meth users, the average age in which their addiction started was 14.

"Addressing the impact of crystal methamphetamine use in increasing the risk of injection initiation among injection-naive street-involved youth represents an urgent public health priority," said study co-author Dr. Evan Wood in a press release. He and his colleagues also called for more evidence-based research to explore the complexities of meth use.

If someone you love is addicted to meth, seek help now before it is too late. Contact Intervention Services today to learn how a meth intervention can lead your friend or relative on a path to recovery.

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