A Review of Treatment Options for Co-Occurring Methamphetamine Use Disorders and Depression

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Co-occurring methamphetamine use and depression interferes with treatment outcomes. Female methamphetamine users are known to have higher rates of depression than male methamphetamine users, although this is also true for the general population. There are limited treatment options for the management of depression among methamphetamine users. In this integrative review, we summarize data on treatment strategies for co-occurring depression and methamphetamine use disorders. English-language articles were identified from PsychINFO, CINAHL, PubMed, and Medline as well as from reference lists of key articles. Search terms included “methamphetamine,” “depression,” and “treatment.” Research articles describing psychological (n = 3), pharmacological (n = 6), nutritional supplement (n = 1), and psychological combined with pharmacological (n = 3) approaches for the treatment of methamphetamine use or withdrawal and/or depression are included in this review. Psychological and combination of psychological with pharmacological approaches have not been shown to be effective in treating these co-occurring conditions. Antidepressants have been determined to be ineffective and/or to introduce side effects. Gender differences with response to treatment were examined in only one of the published studies. There is a large gap in knowledge regarding treatment of co-occurring methamphetamine use disorders and depression. Considering that female methamphetamine users experience higher rates of depression than men, a focus on gender-specific treatment approaches is warranted.

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