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Methamphetamine Abuse Trends in Psychiatric Emergency Services: A Retrospective Analysis Using Big Data



This exploratory retrospective study assessed demographic and hospital utilization characteristics of patients presenting with methamphetamine use to an urban psychiatric emergency service in New Mexico.


De-identified data from patients presenting to PES from 2011 to 2015 were extracted from our health system. Descriptive statistics were used to characterize the study population. We employed bivariate analyses to assess the relationship between methamphetamine use and patient demographics.


Methamphetamine use increased faster than any other drug tested during the study’s time period. Compared to non-methamphetamine patients, methamphetamine use was associated with a shorter PES stay when the patient was in the PES more than 12 h.


Patients with methamphetamine use are increasingly seeking emergency psychiatric evaluations. Methamphetamine use may impact certain racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic classes disproportionately. Further health service delivery studies are needed to develop clear, evidence-based interventions and policy recommendations to address the methamphetamine crisis in the United States.

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JM, RA and MC completed initial draft of manuscript. JM and MC performed literature search. RA, DS, PK and MC did data retrieval and analysis. JM, RA and MC conceptualized manuscript. All authors reviewed final draft.

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Correspondence to Jeremy Miller.

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Miller, J., Atala, R., Sarangarm, D. et al. Methamphetamine Abuse Trends in Psychiatric Emergency Services: A Retrospective Analysis Using Big Data. Community Ment Health J 56, 959–962 (2020).

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