Stigma Makes Life Worse for Youth Meth Users, Study Finds

published on January 5, 2021 by Moira Wyton in The Tyee

False and harmful stereotypes about people who use methamphetamine drastically reduce access to already scarce harm reduction and health services, especially for youth, according to a new report.

Youth who use meth, a powerful stimulant, often do so for practical reasons like staying awake in order to stay safe, study or work, the report found.

But assumptions about meth users being violent, unpredictable or “zombie-like” often leave youth reluctant to seek care for fear of being dismissed or belittled.

And support for users suffering from sleep deprivation and safe spaces to rest are few and far between, particularly for youth who are street-entrenched or who work nights.

Many also become ineligible for youth treatment programs when they turn 18 or 19, and face even longer waits for access…

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