PERCEPTIONS AND COLLABORATION AMONG THOSE EVALUATING AND TREATING METHAMPHETAMINE ABUSE
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractRelative to methamphetamine abuse, opioid abuse draws significant attention. For good reasons, opioid abuse may be more heavily researched than amphetamine type drugs. However, in many regions of the country including Tucson, methamphetamine abuse remains an enduring and prevalent form of substance use disorder (SUD). The present work explored the perceptions on methamphetamine use with the goal of starting a larger conversation about whether the current state of communication and collaboration between frontline individuals working with methamphetamine substance use disorder is effective at addressing the larger national problem or instead would benefit from further refinement. The Thesis began with a review of the physiological impact of acute and chronic methamphetamine use. Then, to incorporate the perspective of those managing SUD, I interviewed a diverse group of six experts who regularly deal with the public problem of chronic methamphetamine use. After summarizing their perspective, I discussed four key areas that merit future study. Lastly, I detailed a sample study which, if performed in the Banner Emergency Department system in Arizona, may help address and corroborate these untested findings in the future. All together, the findings of this work highlighted the dedication of public officials in addressing this greater problem impacting Tucson and our larger communities.