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Study Finds Two-Drug Combination May Help Treat Meth Addiction

New England Journal of Medecine

This article appeared on the Partnership to End Addiction website, in January 2021

A two-drug combination may help treat addiction to meth, according to a study published in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine.

In the study, people who used meth received a combination of the antidepressant bupropion and the injectable drug naltrexone, which is prescribed for addictions to opioids and alcohol. The study found the two drugs were safe and effective in treating adults with moderate or severe methamphetamine use disorder.

Among the study participants, almost 14% of those who received the combination treatment presented mostly drug-free urine samples — more than five times greater than participants who received a placebo, WBUR reports.

“The opioid crisis and resulting overdose deaths in the United States are now well known, but what is less recognized is that there is a growing crisis of overdose deaths involving methamphetamine and other stimulants. However, unlike for opioids, there are currently no approved medications for treating methamphetamine use disorder,” National Institute on Drug Abuse Director Nora D. Volkow, M.D., said in a news release. “This advance demonstrates that medical treatment for methamphetamine use disorder can help improve patient outcomes.”



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