UAMS using ADHD drugs in addiction treatment

LITTLE ROCK - A team of University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences{}researchers are studying the potential of two drugs used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder{}in helping addicts overcome their dependence on methamphetamine. Michael Mancino, M.D., an associate professor in the UAMS Department of Psychiatry, is the principal investigator on the first of the two-year studies, while Alison Oliveto, Ph.D., a professor in the UAMS Department of Psychiatry, is the principal investigator on the other, both funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The studies are both clinical trials using drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of ADHD. In the first trial, the only one of its kind in the United States, subjects will receive the medication lisdexamfetamine, known commercially as Vyvanse, during a one-week stay at a residential facility. Dr. Mancino says they'll give patients 140 milligrams of Vyvanse. The normal ADHD patient takes a maximum of about 70 milligrams. {} The participants will then receive the drug on an outpatient basis for six weeks and continue to be followed on an outpatient basis for eight weeks after discharge from the residential facility. In the second trial, subjects will be given the drug atomoxetine, known commercially as Strattera, for two weeks while residing at a residential facility, and then continue to receive the drug for eight weeks as outpatients. "When they don't take the methamphetamine, they feel worse, so they often take the methamphetamine and that's the purpose of this study," said Dr. Mancino, "(we want) to see if we give them medication to help them get through that time and avoid all those withdrawal symptoms." Participants will also take part in weekly cognitive behavioral therapy sessions to help them develop strategies to cope with their addiction to methamphetamine. Chronic users of methamphetamine, an extremely addictive stimulant drug, undergo severe structural and functional changes in the areas of the brain associated with memory and emotion. Amphetamine addicts also have a high incidence of ADHD, a cognitive dysfunction that can impair their ability to gain control of their addiction. Individuals interested in participating in the studies may call (501) 526-7969 or visit{}