Higher Education | Medicine and Health Sciences | Respiratory Tract Diseases | Substance Abuse and Addiction
The burden of COPD in the United States is tremendous. This disease is not only among the leading causes of mortality annually, but also takes a heavy financial toll.1 Bullous emphysema is a severe variant of COPD. The primary identified risk factor for bullous emphysema is tobacco use; however, the impact of other substances is not clearly delineated.2 This case presents a patient diagnosed with severe bullous emphysema at age 33 with substantial disease progression over the course of 12 years associated with much scarcer tobacco use than would be expected but a prominent history of methamphetamine and marijuana use.
Marijuana and amphetamine-type stimulants are the most widely used illicit substances in the world, and prevalence of both are increasing in the United States. In 2020, an estimated 14.2 million Americans had a marijuana use disorder and 1.5 million had a methamphetamine use disorder.3-7 A better understanding of how these substances may contribute to development and progression of chronic lung disease, both individually and perhaps synergistically, is necessary to guide discussions with patients and inform effective public health efforts.
COPD, Bullous Emphysema, Methamphetamine, Marijuana, Tobacco
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
Noble, K., , Griffin, J. Early Onset Bullous Emphysema Associated with Polysubstance Use. Graduate Medical Education Research Journal. 2023 Jun 30; 5(1).