Buprenorphine for Meth Addiction?
February 4, 2021   

Methamphetamine use disorder is a growing problem across the United States and the world. Unlike with opioid use disorder, there is currently no pharmacological treatment or medication assisted therapy for methamphetamine abuse. For methamphetamine use disorder, treatment is psychosocial and nonpharmacological and has a very limited success rate. In this small placebo-controlled study of 40 individuals with methamphetamine use disorder, the authors investigated the effects of the mu opioid receptor partial agonist, buprenorphine, on several aspects of methamphetamine abuse. In conjunction with psychosocial therapy, individuals were given either buprenorphine or placebo for 6 weeks and took part in follow-up evaluation for 4 months. Patients given 4 mg daily buprenorphine showed reduced frequency of methamphetamine use, reduced craving for methamphetamine, and reduced scores of depression, anxiety, and stress compared to those receiving placebo. Although further studies are needed, these data add to the growing body of literature showing some benefit of opioid receptor modulators (most commonly used for medication assisted treatment of opioid use disorder) in patients with methamphetamine use disorder.


Kheirabadi GR et al. J Clin Psychopharmacol 2021;41(1):45-8. Abstract

     Additional Information:

NEI Podcast
Episode 73 - Stimulating Side Effects: What to Do When Your Patient is Using Methamphetamine with Dr. William Sauve

CME credit: 0.5 | Expires: June 8, 2023
NEI Resources
Topic: Addiction/Reward
This Month in Psychopharmacology
What to Do When Your Patient is Using Methamphetamine