Number of urine tests positive for meth increasing nationwide

According to a Millennium Health study, urine drug test positivity for methamphetamine has increased 340 percent nationwide between Jan. 1, 2014, and Dec. 31, 2019.

The drug was found either alone or in combination with other substances.

Millennium Health, an accredited specialty laboratory, analyzed two million urine specimens.

The researchers also found that people who tested positive for methamphetamine were more likely to test co-positive for nonprescribed heroin, fentanyl, or another opioid. The odds of co-positivity increased over time but varied by geographic location.

“There are many reasons why this data is so alarming, including the fact that there is no antidote for methamphetamine overdose and no FDA-approved medications indicated for the treatment of methamphetamine use disorder,” Leah LaRue, said lead author and scientific communications director, said. “Methamphetamine use can have severe consequences, some of which may last for years. Additionally, the combination of methamphetamine with other substances increases the risk of poor health outcomes, including overdose.”

Millennium Health said the rising rates of positivity require that patients be tested for multiple substances. Their treatment plans are adjusted accordingly, and additional public health education and overdose prevention efforts are enacted.

The study was published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine.

Melina Druga

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