Teen girls less suc­cess­ful than boys at quit­ting meth ac­cord­ing to UCLA study

Wellness Update - - Health News -

LOS AN­GE­LES. – A UCLA-led study of ado­les­cents re­ceiv­ing treat­ment for metham­phetamine de­pen­dence has found that girls are more likely to con­tinue us­ing the drug dur­ing treat­ment than boys, sug­gest­ing that new ap­proaches are needed for treat­ing meth abuse among teen girls. Re­sults from the study, con­ducted by the UCLA Cen­ter for Be­hav­ioral and Ad­dic­tion Medicine and the com­mu­nity-based sub­stance abuse treat­ment pro­gram Be­hav­ioral Health Ser­vices Inc., are pub­lished in the April edi­tion of the Jour­nal of Ado­les­cent Health. "The greater sever­ity of metham­phetamine prob­lems in ado­les­cent girls com­pared to boys, com­bined with re­sults of stud­ies in adults that also found women to be more sus­cep­ti­ble to metham­phetamine than men, sug­gests that the gen­der dif­fer­ences in metham­phetamine ad­dic­tion ob­served in adults may ac­tu­ally be­gin in ado­les­cence," said the study's lead author, Dr. Keith Heinz­er­ling, a health sciences as­sis­tant clin­i­cal pro­fes­sor of fam­ily medicine at the David Gef­fen School of Medicine at UCLA. The clin­i­cal trial fo­cused on use of the an­tide­pres­sant bupro­pion for treat­ing metham­phetamine ad­dic­tion. Nine­teen ado­les­cents — nine boys and 10 girls — with meth ad­dic­tion who were re­ceiv­ing coun­sel­ing at Be­hav­ioral Health Ser­vices were given ei­ther bupro­pion or placebo pills. The aver­age age of par­tic­i­pants was ap­prox­i­mately 17.5 years. The re­searchers found that the study sub­jects who re­ceived the an­tide­pres­sant pro­vided sig­nif­i­cantly fewer meth-free urine sam­ples than did those who were given place­bos, sug­gest­ing that bupro­pion was an in­ef­fec­tive treat­ment for ad­dic­tion in this small sam­ple. Over­all, boys in both groups pro­vided more than twice as many meth-free urine drug tests dur­ing treat­ment as girls in both groups. While the re­sults did not sup­port con­tin­ued re­search into the use of bupro­pion for metham­phetamine ad­dic­tion, they did sug­gest the need for re­search to de­velop new in­ter­ven­tions to im­prove the out­comes of treat­ment for ad­dic­tion in ado­les­cent girls, the re­searchers said. Heinz­er­ling noted the im­por­tance of col­lab­o­ra­tions such as the one be­tween

UCLA and Be­hav­ioral Health Ser­vices. "It shows that part­ner­ships be­tween re­searchers and com­mu­nity or­ga­ni­za­tions are crit­i­cal to in­sur­ing that re­search is trans­lated into im­prove­ments in the health of real peo­ple," he said.

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