Methamphetamine use drove surge in heart failure hospitalizations, costs in California

Methamphetamine use drove surge in heart failure hospitalizations, costs in California

Key Points:

Methamphetamine use has seen a surge in California, leading to a significant increase in hospitalizations, mostly due to heart failure.
A study conducted by the UC San Francisco, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, discovered that hospitalizations for methamphetamine-associated heart failure increased by 585% from 2008 to 2018 in California.
The study also found that compared to non-methamphetamine-related heart failure, methamphetamine-related heart failure leads to more extended and costlier hospitalizations.
Methamphetamine use has become a rapidly increasing problem in California, with its use spreading across the youth and adults population.
According to researchers, efforts are needed toward methamphetamine use prevention, including implementing public awareness campaigns, increasing access to addiction treatment and counseling, and other substance use prevention efforts.


Methamphetamine, commonly known as meth, is a highly addictive drug that affects the central nervous system. It is known to increase attention, improve focus and energy, and suppress appetite, making it a popular drug among young people and adults. However, its consumption comes with significant health issues and addiction problems.

A study conducted by the University of California, San Francisco (UC San Francisco), and published in the Journal of the American Heart Association has discovered a significant surge in heart failure hospitalizations and costs due to methamphetamine use. According to the research, between 2008 and 2018, methamphetamine-related hospitalizations for heart failure increased by 585% in California.

The study confirms what many healthcare providers and addiction specialists have already suspected; methamphetamine use has become a growing problem in California. Heart failure, caused by methamphetamine use, is one of the most severe conditions, and it leads to more extended hospital stays and higher hospital costs than any other cause of heart failure.

Furthermore, the research shows that methamphetamine users tend to be young and male, with more than half of them under 40 years old. In terms of demographics, the study found that Black and Hispanic people are more likely to be hospitalized with meth-related heart failure than white people. Also, patients with meth-related heart failure stay in the hospital twice as long and are twice as costly than non-meth related heart failure.

California has been struggling with the methamphetamine epidemic along with other drug use issues. According to a report by the California Health Care Foundation, California has the highest rate of emergency room visits due to methamphetamine use between 2012 and 2018. The current COVID-19 pandemic has made matters worse, with drug overdoses increasing by 23% in California in 2020, compared to the previous year.

The study emphasizes the need for preventive measures against methamphetamine use, including public awareness campaigns and addiction treatment. The researchers also call for increased resources to support addiction counseling and other substance use prevention efforts.

In conclusion, the increase in methamphetamine-related hospitalizations due to heart failure in California is alarming. The costs and time spent could be better utilized elsewhere, preventing more significant burden on healthcare infrastructure, and the message is clear; substance use issues need to be addressed with a public health approach in mind, and the sooner, the better.