Community-Based Treatment Benefits Methamphetamine / Crystal Meth Abusers
National Institute on Drug Abuse
NIDA Notes Research Findings
Vol. 20, No. 5 (April 2006)
A large California study finds favorable effects for inpatients and outpatients; women’s gains are larger.
By Lori Whitten, NIDA NOTES Staff Writer
Methamphetamine abusers can achieve long-term abstinence with the help of standard communitybased drug abuse treatment. Nine months after beginning therapy, 87 percent of patients treated for heavy or long-term methamphetamine abuse in California outpatient and residential programs were abstinent from all drugs, according to a NIDA-supported analysis. “In the public dialogue, and even among professionals in the field, one sometimes hears that meth abuse is ‘not treatable.’ But that view is not borne out by recent clinical trials or our study, which shows that community-based treatment reduces drug abuse and other problems,” says lead investigator Dr. Yih-Ing Hser.
“Because methamphetamine abusers respond to treatment, getting them into therapy is a top priority. For women, there is added urgency to help them avoid exposing the children they may bear to the consequences of prenatal drug exposure.”