The full extent of the methamphetamine problem is routinely underestimated, because meth-related deaths are chronically under-reported, according to a recent analysis in the journal Addiction.
Unlike heroin, which usually kills people directly through overdose, methamphetamine tends to kill people indirectly. Most deaths ultimately caused by meth are listed instead as the result of heart attacks, stroke, accidents, or suicide.
As a result, “methamphetamine may be making a far more substantial contribution to morbidity and mortality than is appreciated based on currently available data,” the analysis concludes. It goes on to suggest that current funding for dealing with meth addiction is far less than might be available if the true extent of the problem were understood.