Meth Study Reveals Drug May Be More Addictive In Teen Girls

A study published this year in Journal of Adolescent Health suggested that teenage girls who had succumbed to a methamphetamine addiction had a harder time breaking from the addiction than boys within the same age group.

The research study was conducted at the School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Although a small study, it garnered valuable information needed for health care professionals in the field of drug addiction treatment. For instance, it raised awareness in regard to how young females should be treated.

The study consisted of 10 females and 9 males around the age of 17 years old. The participants were methamphetamine abusers and included the following:

  • Participants were given counseling
  • Some participants received bupropion, an antidepressant
  • Other participants received a placebo

The group of teenagers who were on bupropion did not have significantly lower meth-free urine samples compared to those who had the placebo. Also for this particular study, bupropion was suggested as not being a purely effective methamphetamine addiction treatment.

Conversely, they discovered that the males, in both study groups, had double the amount of meth-free urine drug tests as opposed to the girls. 

In the university press release, health sciences assistant clinical professor, Dr. Keith Heinzerling shared, “The greater severity of methamphetamine problems in adolescent girls compared to boys -- combined with results of studies in adults that also found women to be more susceptible to methamphetamine than men -- suggests that the gender differences in methamphetamine addiction observed in adults may actually begin in adolescence.”

Not many people know that meth addiction actually started back in the 1930s. Methamphetamine was a popular ingredient in inhalers for those with breathing challenges. It wasn’t until after, users realized the ingredient was addicting due to its euphoric side-effects.

Like any addiction, the body becomes more resistant to the original dose amount, and needs to be increased.   

Teenagers are introduced to meth, particularly the street name of crystal meth.  It’s considered a party drug for the following intents:

  • Stimulant
  • Keeps users up for hours without the need for sleep
  • Gives users an euphoric state
  • Inhibitions go away
  • Increases libido
  • Relatively cheap to buy

Meth is also considered as a functional drug. In these cases, users take meth to stay up for a long stretch of hours and helps with weight loss.

In either case, some teens are viewing this drug as a need either in a party atmosphere, functional necessity, or both. 

Although signs of meth addiction vary from user to user, the typical side effects are the following:

  • Irritability
  • Paranoia
  • Mood swings
  • Fear
  • Dramatic weight loss
  • Odd sleep cycles
  • Post nasal drip and other sinus issues
  • Tooth discoloration and decay
  • Pale skin discoloration
  • Cognitive challenges

Treatment for meth addiction is a journey, but it can be done. And in order to overcome this addiction, chiefly with teen girls, new treatment methods may need to be considered and utilized.

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