Monday, November 18, 2013

UCLA Meth Clinical Trial: Can Reducing Brain Inflammation Treat Meth Addiction?

UCLA is conducting a clinical trial to find out if an anti-inflammatory medication can help patients to stop or reduce their meth use, and improve mental functioning, by reducing toxic brain inflammation caused by meth. Counseling, study medication, and compensation are included in this 18-week outpatient clinical trial.   

Interested in learning more?

Call us if you are:
 18 years or older
 using crystal meth
 looking to stop

Call (866) 449-UCLA for information or to make an appointment at our research clinic in Hollywood or visit,

This UCLA research study is being conducted by the UCLA Department of Family Medicine (PI: Keith Heinzerling, M.D.) and is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Ready to take your life back from methamphetamine?

Are you ready to take your life back from methamphetamine?  Our research group at UCLA is conducting a research study on the effectiveness of a medication (varenicline) to help people stop using methampheatmine.

Counseling, inpatient detox, study medication, and compensation are part of the 15-week outpatient clinical trial.

Interested in learning more?  Call us if you are:
  • 18 years or older      
  • using crystal meth
  • looking to stop
Call 866-449-UCLA for information or to make an appointment at our research clinic in Hollywood! Or for more info email us at

UCLA IRB# 11-001951

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

AIDS 2012 Satellite session: The Overlap of HIV, Key Populations and Psycho‐Stimulant Drugs

AIDS 2012 - JOIN US!
Satellite session: The Overlap of HIV, Key Populations and Psycho‐Stimulant Drugs

The overlap of HIV and non-injecting crack cocaine use has always been a concern for the Caribbean. In other locations around the globe, similar concerns of the overlap of HIV and psycho-stimulant drugs (cocaine, crack and amphetamine-type stimulants) has attracted the attention of community based service providers and of researcher.

In January 2012, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in partnership with the Government of Brazil sponsored a meeting of international experts to review the facts and to draft an evidence-informed guideline to ensure access to HIV prevention, treatment, and care for individuals who use psycho-stimulant drugs (cocaine, crack and amphetamine type stimulants). The findings of that meeting will be presented at this satellite session from the perspectives of service providers, scientists, advocates from stimulant using communities, and policy makers, with particular focus on the evidence, the contexts, the multiple comorbidities that place stimulant users at risk.

Monday, April 30, 2012

First two weeks critical for success in meth treatment

A new UCLA SARx study was published highlighting the critical importance of the first two weeks of treatment for methamphetamine dependence. The study looked at success (still in treatment and a urine test negative for methamphetamine) at the end of 12 weeks of treatment and whether you could predict success in treatment from the patient's performance in the first two weeks. Patients visited the clinic three times a week during treatment to provide a urine drug screen. Patients who were unable to provide at least three methamphetamine negative urine tests (of the six possible) during the first two weeks had a 90% chance of treatment failure at the end of 12 weeks.

New treatments that can achieve results more quickly are clearly needed and will be the topic of future research for UCLA SARx! The abstract of the paper is below. The study was published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

A retrospective analysis of two randomized trials of bupropion for methamphetamine dependence: Suggested guidelines for treatment discontinuation/augmentation. 

Brensilver M, Heinzerling KG, Swanson AN, Shoptaw SJ.
Department of Family Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, CA 90095, USA.

BACKGROUND: Two clinical trials have shown efficacy for bupropion in treating methamphetamine (MA) dependence among those with moderate baseline MA use. However, treatment response is highly variable and it is unclear what duration of treatment is necessary to determine if maintaining the treatment course is indicated or if discontinuation or augmentation is appropriate. The present study assessed the relationship among early bupropion treatment response for moderate MA users and end-of-treatment (EOT) abstinence. These data provide estimates of the duration of treatment and the degree of responsiveness required to persist in bupropion treatment.

METHODS: Participants with moderate baseline MA use in the bupropion condition of two randomized double-blind placebo controlled trials were included. The relationship between early treatment response and EOT outcomes was assessed with Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curves.

RESULTS: With thrice weekly urine drug testing, excellent predictive power was established in the first two weeks of treatment. The inability to achieve at least three MA negative samples in the first two weeks is associated with greater than 90% likelihood of treatment failure. More closely approximating clinical settings, once-weekly testing featured reliable predictive power within three weeks, suggesting that the failure to produce at least two clean samples in the first three weekly visits confers high risk of treatment failure.

DISCUSSION: The findings provide preliminary evidence to guide clinical decisions for moderate MA users receiving bupropion. The results are consistent with data from the smoking cessation literature and may highlight the importance of early response in addiction treatment.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.