Teenage girls may have a more difficult time than boys in quitting methamphetamine, a new study suggests.
The study by researchers at UCLA found girls are more likely to continue using methamphetamine during treatment. They say the findings indicate the need for new treatment approaches for girls addicted to meth, HealthCanal reports.
The study included nine boys and 10 girls, whose average age was 17 ½. All were addicted to meth and were receiving counseling. They were treated with either bupropion (an antidepressant and smoking cessation drug) or a placebo. Teens given bupropion provided significantly fewer meth-free urine samples compared with teens given a placebo, suggesting the drug is not an effective treatment for meth addiction. Boys in both groups provided more than twice as many meth-free urine samples as girls.
“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,” study author Dr. Keith Heinzerling said in a news release.
The findings appear in the Journal of Adolescent Health.