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Young People Are At Higher Stroke Risk From Using Methamphetamine

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Young Methamphetamine Users At Risk For More Than Just Drug Addiction

Young people using using methamphetamine have a higher risk of stroke according to new research.  The use of methamphetamines has been linked to a type of stroke caused by bleeding in the brain, known as a hemorrhagic stroke, as opposed to ischemic stroke, which is caused by blood clots.  Indeed, strokes among young users tend to be deadlier than strokes among young people in general, the research has shown.

A Deadly Trend

“With the use of methamphetamine increasing, particularly more potent forms, there is a growing burden of methamphetamine-related disease and harms, particularly among young people,” the researchers wrote in the Aug. 23 issue of the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry. They suggest it’s likely that this sort of drug abuse is contributing to the recent increase in the rate of stroke among young people.  That trend has been increasing over the last decades.
The reports showed a link between methamphetamine use and stroke, particularly hemorrhagic stroke. In one study of more than 3 million patients treated at hospitals in Texas found that young people who abused amphetamines (including methamphetamine) were five times more likely to have a hemorrhagic stroke, compared with young people who didn’t use this type of drug.

The review also looked at 98 cases of young people who had a stroke and used methamphetamine. Of these strokes, 80 percent were hemorrhagic. This is much higher than the rate of hemorrhagic stroke among the general population of people under 45, in which 40 percent to 50 percent of strokes are hemorrhagic.

About one-third of young methamphetamine users who experienced a hemorrhagic stroke died as a result. That’s also much higher than the death rate among young people in the general population who experience a stroke, which is around 3 percent, the study said.  The discrepancy is alarming.

Treatment And Abstinence Is the Best Course Of Action

Young people who use methamphetamine, and the doctors who treat them, need to be aware of the increased risk of stroke tied to this drug. Users should also be educated about the early warning signs of stroke; some users may experience symptoms such as headache, speech and language difficulties, and vision problems that may be temporary at first, but which later predict a stroke.

“The increased risk of hemorrhagic stroke in particular should be highlighted to young people who may use methamphetamine, and to their communities,” which may encourage them to seek help and get treatment for their drug use, the researchers said.

If you are a loved one is tangled in drug abuse, reach out for help today.  Call a treatment professional in your community or you can always call out Drug Addiction Treatments hotline.  We’re here for you 24/7.  Call Now 1-877-973-4221