Methamphetamine dependence is a serious public health problem, with methamphetamine abusers being at risk for significant morbidity and mortality, including HIV. To date, no medication or behavioral treatment strategy has shown robust, long-term efficacy in treating this disorder. The Psychiatric Research Institute currently has two research projects examining potential medication treatments for patients with methamphetamine dependence.
- The first clinical trial examines whether lisdexamfetamine (a Food and Drug Administration-approved treatment for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) versus placebo helps in alleviating withdrawal symptoms and preventing relapse relative to placebo using a relapse paradigm in which participants are initially placed on study medication over a one-week period while residing at a residential facility to obtain initial abstinence, and then participate as outpatients for eight weeks while continuing to receive the study medication.
- The second clinical trial examines the potential of atomoxetine (also FDA-approved for treating ADHD) versus placebo to attenuate withdrawal as well as to prolong abstinence using a relapse paradigm in which participants are initially placed on the study medication over a two-week period while residing at a residential facility to obtain initial abstinence, and then participate as outpatients for eight weeks while continuing to receive the study medication.
The findings of these studies will not only shed light on whether lisdexamfetamine and/or atomoxetine may improve upon treatment for this disorder but also inform future medication development strategies for improving treatment for drug dependence disorders. Discovering effective limited risk interventions that show more robust, longer-term outcomes would be beneficial both to the individual and society.
For more information about this study, contact the research staff at (501) 526-7969.
These research projects will be conducted in the Center for Addiction Research (CAR) at the Psychiatric Research Institute (PRI) in Little Rock, Ark., a state-of-the-art facility that incorporates inpatient and outpatient facilities, including 40 medically intensive inpatient beds, research, clinical, brain imaging, educational and administrative space. It is connected to the main hospital at which emergency care can also be received. CAR has a dedicated multidisciplinary research team comprised of physicians with expertise in addiction treatment, nurses, research assistants, drug counselors, and senior investigators that have successfully conducted prior medication trials in methamphetamine dependent individuals. All studies hold a Certificate of Confidentiality from a federal agency that provides an extra layer of protection for participant’s confidentiality.
All participants will be initially screened to determine their study eligibility on the fourth floor of PRI. All eligible participants will be admitted to the Recovery Centers of Arkansas‘ North Little Rock facility (RCA), where they will stay for the residential portion of their participation. RCA has separate facilities for women and men that are approximately 7912 square feet (women) and 6798 square feet (men) and can accommodate up to 24 women and 28 men. RCA delivers such therapy models as traditional 12-step work, family systems theory and cognitive behavioral therapy. Residential treatment services provide structured, intensive treatment seven days a week with a minimum of 33 hours of group therapy and one hour of individual therapy weekly.
After the residential stay, participants will attend the outpatient research clinic on the fourth floor of PRI, which houses two exam rooms, several private interview rooms, bathrooms for supervising urine collections, a laboratory for processing and packaging urine and blood samples as well as storage of blood samples, several laboratories for clinical research, private therapist offices, a computer laboratory, individualized computer therapy rooms, conference rooms, and office space. Intake, training sessions, assessment sessions, and therapy sessions will be conducted in this location.