Methamphetamine Use, Mental Health Comorbidities, and Treatment in Rural and Urban Areas


Methamphetamine (meth) use has been on the rise in rural and urban areas of the U.S., but more so in rural areas. Meth use is also unevenly distributed across U.S. regions, with more in the West, but pockets of growing meth use are emerging in other regions as well. Alarm is growing about meth use as a serious public health problem, particularly because there are no proven treatments for meth addiction. National trend data are available on meth use, but information at the subnational level has been lacking to inform regional and local policy.

This study aims to identify hotspots and trends in rural versus urban meth use, including analyses within sub-rural geographies and U.S. regions to allow better targeting of resources for prevention and treatment. We will also examine meth use in combination with other substances (opioids and alcohol), mental health comorbidities, and perceived need for and receipt of treatment by people who use meth and those with meth use disorder. We will use 2016-2018 data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) to characterize meth use, treatment, and association with other mental health comorbidities.


Davis Patterson, PhD






In Progress