Methamphetamine Statistics

Methamphetamine statistics reveal that meth is a serious problem in the US, though the numbers conflict over if the problem has begun to decrease or if it is still increasing. Keep reading for information on meth stats and demographics of the methamphetamine user.


The 2005 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that over 10 million people age 12 and older had abused methamphetamine, or slightly more than 4% of the US population. The 2005 Monitoring the Future study also found that about 4.5% of high school seniors had abused methamphetamine. Emergency rooms report that about 4% of drug related admissions are due to meth use.

Meth use started in Hawaii and spread west. In 1993 it was most common in Oregon, California, and Nevada. By 1999 it was most common west of the Mississippi. It has now spread all over the US in both rural and urban areas, though it is still more common in the West. Methamphetamine is only one type of amphetamine that is abused, but it is the most common type at 94% of all amphetamine abuse.

A report on meth users admitted for treatment for their addiction reveals some demographics and other statistics about the abuse of methamphetamine:

  • 6% of all people admitted for drug addiction treatment primarily used meth, and another 4% had meth use as a secondary drug problem, meaning meth was a drug of abuse in 10% of all admissions for drug treatment
  • 71% of people admitted to drug treatment primarily for using meth used it along with other drugs, while 29% used only meth
  • Of those who abused other drugs along with meth, 47% used marijuana, 36% used alcohol, and 10% used cocaine
  • Methamphetamine statistics show 44% of the people admitted for drug treatment smoked meth, 26% injected it, and 19% inhaled it
  • The average age of people admitted to treatment for meth addiction was 30, which is younger than for many other drugs. The average first age of meth use was 20.
  • 74% of the people admitted for meth addiction treatment were unemployed
  • Methamphetamine statistics show 76% of those admitted for meth treatment were White, which was higher than for other drugs where it's only about half. 12% were Hispanic, 9% were "other" which includes Asian, Native American, and Pacific Islanders, and 3% were Black
  • 46% of those being treated for meth addiction were female, higher than other drugs where only about one quarter are female
  • On average, those who abused meth had less education than abusers of other drugs
  • The people admitted for meth addiction treatment were less likely to have referred themselves to drug treatment, and were more likely to have been sent to drug treatment by the criminal justice system than those who were admitted for other drugs


SAMHSA Office of Applied Studies, "The DASIS Report: Characteristics of Primary Amphetamine Treatment Admissions: 2001" [online]

National Institute on Drug Abuse, Research Report Series, "Methamphetamine Abuse and Addiction" [online]

SAMHSA Office of Applied Studies, "The DASIS Report: Amphetamine Treatment Admissions Increase: 1993-1999" [online]

SAMHSA Office of Applied Studies, "The DASIS Report: Geographic Differences in Substance Abuse Treatment Admissions for Methamphetamine/Amphetamine and Marijuana: 2005" [online]

Related Article: Amphetamine Addiction >>