20 Oct Amphetamine-Related Hospitalizations Skyrocket Costing $2 Billion per Year
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Tyler Winkelman MD, MSc
Division of General Internal Medicine, Hennepin Healthcare
Center for Patient and Provider Experience, Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute
Departments of Medicine & Pediatrics
University of Minnesota
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Trends in amphetamine use are mixed across data sources. We sought to identify trends in serious, problematic amphetamine use by analyzing a national sample of hospitalizations.
Amphetamine-related hospitalizations increased over 270% between 2008 and 2015. By 2015, amphetamine-related hospitalizations were responsible for $2 billion in hospital costs. While opioid-related hospitalizations were more common, amphetamine-related hospitalizations increased to a much larger degree. After accounting for population growth, amphetamine hospitalizations grew 245% between 2008 and 2015, whereas opioid-related hospitalizations increased 46%. Amphetamine-related hospitalizations were more likely to be covered by Medicaid and be in the western United States compared with other hospitalizations. In-hospital mortality was 29% higher among amphetamine-related hospitalizations compared with other hospitalizations.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Serious, problematic amphetamine use may be an emerging public health. As the United States continue to grapple with the opioid epidemic, prevention and treatment practices should be developed that can be applied to substance use issues beyond opioid use disorders alone.
Serious, problematic amphetamine use may be an emerging public health. As the United States continue to grapple with the opioid epidemic, prevention and treatment practices should be developed that can be applied to substance use issues beyond opioid use disorders alone.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: Amphetamine-related hospitalizations in our study were associated with socioeconomic characteristics and geographic patterns consistent with trends in methamphetamine use. We believe the majority of these hospitalizations are likely related to illicit methamphetamine. Nonetheless, it’s possible that some of this trend is related to prescription amphetamine use. Future studies should evaluate how amphetamine-related ICD codes are used by clinicians and the impact of expanding the number of amphetamine-related codes to improve precision. In addition, unlike opioids, pharmacologic treatment for amphetamine use disorders does not exist and effective treatments are needed.
Winkelman TNA, Admon LK, Jennings L, Shippee ND, Richardson CR, Bart G. Evaluation of Amphetamine-Related Hospitalizations and Associated Clinical Outcomes and Costs in the United States. JAMA Network Open. 2018;1(6):e183758. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.3758
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