Researchers have begun testing drugs approved for other substance use disorders to treat people with methamphetamine addiction. Examples include naltrexone—which is used for the treatment of opioid use disorder—and bupropion, which helps people quit smoking.
Both treatments have shown some effectiveness when used alone to treat methamphetamine addiction. A research team led by Dr. Madhukar Trivedi at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center launched a clinical trial to see if a combination of the two might help more people quit.
When asked what was her worst memory, Jennea said that as a child during her third or fourth birthday her mother 'showed up with skinheads at my birthday party like nothing ever happened'
In prior work, it’s been noted how psychosis can follow methamphetamine use and last into abstinence. Varying levels of methamphetamine use can induce psychosis, depending in part on an individual’s background, and it can develop quickly or after 20 years of use. This psychosis can be quite similar to Schizophrenia - in some cases, violent behaviors have been connected to methamphetamine psychosis as well. A study of Japanese prisoners found that a subgroup of methamphetamine users experienced chronic psychosis. Lingering cognitive problems may cause other health complications, difficulty thinking or concentrating at work, and increasingly risky behavior, in addition to higher relapse rates. Furthermore, later-in-life stress can also revive psychotic symptoms. More research on methamphetamine and cognitive problems can help treatment providers understand these hidden tripwires for patients.
Some of the strategies currently used to treat traumatic brain injuries may be helpful, as may use of exercise, dance, and transcranial magnetic stimulation. Post drug abstinence psychoses may not be as reversible by medications used for naturally-occurring psychoses.
With methamphetamine this is even more important as medication assisted therapies do not exist. Time of abstinence, rehabilitation with healthy thinking, eating, sleeping, and diet are easier to prescribe or advise than find. Time of abstinence is of the essence as it appears that methamphetamine induces a drug use disorder with binges, relapses and cravings but also with loss of brain function and evidence of something that looks like a traumatic brain injury. Treating it like a neurological injury in addition to traditional addiction treatment, may be an idea worth looking at too.
ICE wasn’t Andy’s first drug – no that was alcohol. He started bingeing at only 14. After using cannabis and some heroin, and then stopping for a season, Andy commenced ICE use after the death of his mother – it motivated him to get out of bed…but sadly much more than that followed.
Andy candidly, but unemotionally shares his concerns about the poor use of drug policy and the utter madness of ‘ICE Smoking Rooms’. Check out the full interview here…