An Evaluation of the Relationship Between the use of Methamphetamine and Suicide Ideation

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Methamphetamine (MA) use is a worldwide problem, with more users than cocaine and opiates combined (LaGasse et al., 2012). According to the World Health Organization (WHO) (2019), over 35 million individuals regularly use/abuse one of the types of amphetamine/methamphetamine. Abusing methamphetamine can cause mental health issues and a lot of emergency room visits that cost 23.4 billion in 2005 (Nicosia, 2005). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationships between methamphetamine use and suicidal ideation as well as methamphetamine use and depression. The study was conducted using the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health data (NSDUH), which is a cross-sectional study that interviews United States residents and evaluates their drug use and health. Subjects were drawn using a random sample of all adults’ ages 18 years of age and above. The 2,814 participants in the study consisted of 1,407 methamphetamine users and 1,407 non methamphetamine users; however not all participants sampled answered all questions and therefore each analysis features a smaller different sample size all above the minimum sample size required. A Chi-Square Test of Independence was conducted to analyze the relationship between the use of methamphetamine, suicidal ideation, depression and gender. The results indicated a significant relationship between methamphetamine and suicidal ideation (P > 0.043). A smaller sample (n = 597) of participants were eligible to complete the suicidal ideation question and therefore included in the analysis for the research question comparing suicidal ideation in methamphetamine users and those who have never used methamphetamines. Results indicated a significant relationship between methamphetamine use and self-reporting depression (P < .001). An analysis of the 414 individuals in the sample who both used methamphetamines and who responded to the suicidal ideation question indicated no significant relationship between gender and suicidal ideation amongst those who have used methamphetamines at some point; 42.6% of males, compared to 54.4% females (P > 0.503). This study illustrated an association between Methamphetamine use and factor that caused depression and suicidal ideation. Future studies should evaluate other socioeconomic or social determinant factors.
A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Master of Public Health
Public Health