First Use and Relapse Factors in Methamphetamine Abuse in Rural States

White, Jason
Background: Methamphetamine has been the major problem drug in Wyoming since 1990. The reasons people use methamphetamine are quite varied and rural states may have unique factors associated with stimulant use and relapse after treatment. Qualitative interviews of recovering methamphetamine users in Wyoming were performed in an attempt to better understand what factors are unique to this and other rural states in the treatment of methamphetamine addiction. Methods: Interviews were coded by the researchers to look at common themes in "first use" of methamphetamine as well as reasons for relapsing. These themes included individual, family, peer, community, work/school, and cultural factors. Results: The majority of respondents indicated that family and peer influences played the largest role in their first use of methamphetamine. However, individual factors were indicated to be the primary influence for relapse, most commonly seen as the use of methamphetamine as a coping factor. Culture did not appear to play a role in methamphetamine use in Wyoming. Conclusion: There are factors unique to rural states that may make use of methamphetamine and other substances harder to discontinue. Implications of these findings for treatment of substance addiction in rural states and for future research are discussed.
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