According to Drug Free World, ?The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimated the worldwide production of amphetamine-type stimulants, which includes methamphetamine, at nearly 500 metric tons a year, with 24.7 million abusers. The United States government reported in 2008 that approximately 13 million people over the age of 12 have used methamphetamine?and 529,000 of those are regular users.?
?In 2007, 4.5% of American high-school seniors and 4.1% of tenth grade students reported using methamphetamine at least once in their life. In the United States, the percentage of drug treatment admissions due to methamphetamine and amphetamine abuse tripled from 3% in 1996 to 9% in 2006.?
Charged towards drying to drop these numbers, Jennifer Towers, the Tufts School of Dental Medicine?s director of research affairs, saw widespread and serious teeth damage to individuals in Idaho.
Described as ?meth mouth,? caused by using meth, teeth begin to clench and grind at an exaggerated rated, leading to cracked enamel and then a ?grotesque state of tooth decay.?
Towers created a screensaver composed of meth mouth images that dentists can play in their exam rooms so patients see. She also created a graphic novel for preteens, as well as a software application that lets patients deteriorate a mouth to simulate the effects of meth on the body.
?I got a group of 14-year-old girls to be very silent when I showed them the before and after pictures [of meth addicts],? Towers said. ?Especially in mid-teen range, they?re pretty concerned about their appearance.?