Methamphetamine Abuse and Your Dental Health

Glendale Dentist Serving Phoenix, Scottsdale, Peoria, and nearby areas in Arizona

Dentists concerned about the dangers to patients posed by the abuse of crystal methamphetamine are warned that the drug appears to be much more popular among young adults in the U.S. than previously assumed.

New research funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institute of Health (NIH), and published in the July issue of the journal Addiction, indicates that 2.8 percent of young adults between 18 and 26 used crystal methamphetamine during the survey year 2001-02. This is twice the rate of crystal methamphetamine use by young adults (ages 19 to 28) of 14 percent reported by NIDA’s 2002 Monitoring the Future Survey.

NIDA says that young adult users are disproportionately white and male and live in the West, and that Native Americans were 4.2 times as likely as whites to use the drug. Users also tend to have lower social economic status and abuse other drugs, such as alcohol, marijuana and cocaine. Male users are also more likely to have had incarcerated fathers.

The American Dental Association cites “meth mouth” –oral health problems stemming from the abuse of crystal methamphetamine—as an extremely severe and fast-acting cause of dental decay. ADA is also calling for a greater commitment by Congress to help fund better oral care treatment for Native Americans.

Methamphetamine abuse is a real and growing problem in Arizona. According to the 2006 Arizona Youth Survey, 4.3% of our state’s youth, ages 13-17, have tried it. This figure is significantly higher than the national average. The ARIZONA METH PROJECT is a large-scale, multi-media prevention campaign.

Modeled after the nationally recognized Montana Meth Project, the ARIZONA METH PROJECT has raised $5.3 million for the fight against methamphetamine use. This support comes from:

  • State Funds Allocated to the Counties (HB 2554)
  • Private funds Raised by the Supporting Counties
  • $2.5 Million from the Maricopa County General Fund
  • Funding from the Arizona Attorney General's Office

Target: Arizona youth (12-17), young adults (18-24) and their parents.

Media and Message: Graphic and direct television and radio commercials, print ads, Internet ads and billboards that depict the detrimental effects of Meth. The campaign's core message "Not Even Once" speaks directly to the highly addictive nature of Meth.