Gomes de Matos, E., Hannemann, T.-V., Atzendorf, J., Kraus, L., Piontek, D.The consumption of new psychoactive substances and methamphetamine - analysis of data from 6 German federal states
Deutsches Ärzteblatt International 2018, 115 (4), 49-55. doi: 10.3238/arztebl.2018.0049
Background: The abuse of new psychoactive substances (NPS) and methamphetamine has severe adverse effects. Here we provide the first report of regional patterns in NPS and methamphetamine consumption in Germany, on the basis of epidemiologic data from six federal states (Bavaria, Hamburg, Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia, Saxony, and Thuringia).
Methods: Data were derived from the 2015 Epidemiological Survey of Substance Abuse (Epidemiologischer Suchtsurvey) and supplemented with additional cases from the federal states that were studied. The numbers of persons included in the representative samples of persons aged 18 to 64 in each state were 1916 (Bavaria), 1125 (Hamburg), 1151 (Hesse), 2008 (North Rhine-Westphalia), 1897 (Saxony), and 1543 (Thuringia). Potential risk factors for the lifetime prevalence of consumption were studied by logistic regression.
Results: The lifetime prevalence of methamphetamine consumption in the individual states ranged from 0.3% (North Rhine-Westphalia) to 2.0% (Saxony). Thuringia and Saxony displayed values that were significantly higher than average. For NPS, the figures ranged from 2.2% (Bavaria) to 3.9% (Hamburg), but multivariate analysis revealed no statistically significant differences between the states. Higher age and higher educational level were associated with lower consumption of NPS and methamphetamine, while smoking and cannabis use were each associated with higher consumption.
Conclusion: NPS consumption is equally widespread in all of the federal states studied. Methamphetamine is rarely consumed; its consumption appears to be higher in Saxony and Thuringia. The risk factor analysis reported here should be interpreted cautiously in view of the low case numbers with respect to consumption.