Views of the Effects of Methamphetamine on Health, Treatment Efficacy and Criminality

Petric, Laurie J.
This study explored the views of three Laramie professionals and forty citizens regarding methamphetamine's impact on health, treatment efficacy and criminality. Expert participants included a nurse practitioner, law enforcement officer and drug counselor. Citizen participants were recruited via a randomized mailing list. All participants were given a drug severity survey (DSS), in which they rated their agreement or disagreement with four statements. Each individual statement asserted that either cocaine, alcohol, prescription drugs, or methamphetamine cause more adverse effects than any other drug. Expert participants were interviewed and asked twelve open-ended questions related to the aforementioned drugs. Averaged responses of individual DSS statements revealed two things. Expert participants believed that alcohol causes more adverse effects than any other drug. Citizen participants believed that methamphetamine causes more adverse effects than any other drug. An independent samples t-test with Welch approximation compared opinions between the two groups. Results of this t-test indicated that expert participants felt that alcohol and prescription drug abuse were more severe than the citizen participants. The results of this study may help future researchers determine whether methamphetamine use does have a significantly greater effect on health, treatment efficacy and criminality when compared to other drugs.
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