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Methamphetamine abuse and treatments

17 April 2009


Methamphetamine has emerged as one of the most widely abused drugs in the world and has had devastating effects from the level of the individual user to the systemic level of drug treatment centers and gove111mentallegislation. These effects can be attributed in part to the drug's high risk for dependence, especially when the user is injecting methamphetamine or abusing the more potent crystalline form. The acute effects of methamphetamine intoxication are characterized by physiological arousal and the long-term effects are characterized by mood disturbance and cognitive impairment. Psychosis may develop and persist after the drug is discontinued. Researchers have explored methamphetamine's popularity and have found that users are attracted to the drug because of the user's ability to function while intoxicated, the convenience and price of the drug, and other desired effects such as self-medication, weight loss, and augmentation of social interactions. The Matrix Model is a 16-week manualized treatment based on cognitive behavioral principles and includes psycho education, group therapy, family education groups, social support and 12-step groups, individual counseling, weekly minalysis and breath alcohol testing, and positive reinforcement for behavioral change. In the future, researchers hope to identify a variety of efficacious treatment modalities, medication therapies, and strategies to improve engagement and retention in treatment.


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