UAMS researchers conducting study on link between meth and stress

Local News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Methamphetamine is considered the biggest problem drug in Arkansas.

When it comes to methamphetamine use, Arkansas leads the nation in people testing positive, according to a study by Millennium Health.

It’s a statistic that caught the attention of Dr. Mike Wilson, an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at UAMS.

“We became interested in stress and how people respond to stress or get agitated in the emergency department and it turns out that people who have used meth get really stressed out and agitated in the emergency department,” said Dr. Mike Wilson.

UAMS recently launched a study to examine how people who use meth respond to stress in the emergency room compared to those who don’t use the drug. It’s currently the only study in the world of its kind.

“We think there is something about how meth alters or changes the system in our body that helps us respond to stress.  We are trying to figure out how that changed, what isn’t working and trying to figure out ways to fix it so we can get people to respond to stress in a way that doesn’t involve meth,” said Dr. Wilson.

The study is seeking people between the ages of 18-55 who have used meth in the past six months and have visited the emergency room at least once.

“Everything you tell us is confidential and has to remain confidential, but we will do what we can to help educate both the person that does our study and the wider public about the effects of meth,” said Dr. Wilson.

Dr. Wilson is hopeful that not only will the study provide answers, it will encourage people to seek recovery.

“We can’t promise anything in research, of course, because if we already knew the answer we wouldn’t have to do the study, but we really hope we are going to figure out ways to help folks,” said Dr. Wilson.

The study consists of three 3-hour visits and participants will be paid for their time.

For more information, call 501-570-6362 or visit

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