Current Psychiatry Reports

, Volume 8, Issue 5, pp 345-354

First online:

Management of methamphetamine abuse and dependence

  • Walter LingAffiliated withUCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA Email author 
  • , Richard Rawson
  • , Steve Shoptaw

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Preliminary implications for evidence-based treatments and future practice may be drawn from new research findings that inspire a fresh view of methamphetamine dependence and associated medical consequences. Current user populations include increasingly impacted subgroups (ie, youths, women, men who have sex with men, and rural residents); complex consequences of methamphetamine abuse among these subgroups require additional efforts involving contextual understanding of characteristics and needs to develop effective treatments. The neurobiological data on cellular activity of methamphetamine taken with findings from neuroimaging studies indicate potential targets for pharmacologic interventions. In early trials, several candidate medications—bupropion, modafinil, and, to a lesser extent, baclofen—have shown promise in treating aspects of methamphetamine dependence, including aiding memory function necessary to more effectively participate in and benefit from behavioral therapies. Clinicians and researchers must interact to efficiently address the problems of methamphetamine dependence, a major drug problem in the United States and the world.