The effects of cognitive-behavioural therapy on methamphetamine use among women in methadone therapy in Tehran

Project Members: 
image - Zahra Alammehrjerdi
Mrs Zahra Alammehrjerdi
Research Assistant
Project Main Description: 

Methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) can prevent heroin use among women but regular methamphetamine use has no pharmacological treatment and could result in treatment failure. This study aims to identify whether brief cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is effective in reducing regular methamphetemine use among a group of female co-users of heroin with methamphetamine. 

Project Collaborators: External: 

A/Professor Nadine Ezard
St Vincent's Drug & Alcohol Service, Sydney; Conjoint, UNSW Medicine

Prof. Azarakhsh Mokri
Iranian National Centre for Addiction Studies (INCAS); Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS), Tehran, Iran

Dr. Pardis Nematollahi
Razi clinical pathology laboratory, Isfahan, Iran


The current study will aim to identify whether brief CBT will be effective in reducing regular methamphetamine useamong a group of female co-users of heroin with methamphetamine.

Design and Method: 

The study will be a randomised controlled trial (RCT). Subjects will be assigned randomly to individually receive 4 sessions of CBT (e.g. intervention group, n=45) based on the study manual or general drug information (e.g. control group, n=45). Subjects will be followed at three stages: baseline, intervention and 8-week follow-up.

Setting: Five female-specific MMT centres in Tehran, Iran.

Participants: Regular female co-users of heroin with methamphetamine.

Intervention: Four sessions of brief CBT, consisting of a motivational interview and skills training in avoidance of high risk situations, coping with craving and relapse prevention will be the intervention. The control group will receive general drug information on cannabis, alcohol, tobacco, and opium use.

Measurements: The Opiate Treatment Index (OTI), the Speed Use Ladder, the General Health Questionnaire-28 (GHQ-28), and urine tests will be the measures. Blood tests will be taken at baseline and follow-up to determine the prevalence of HIV, HCV and HBV.

Findings: The differences between the two groups at baseline, intervention and follow-up stages will be analysed by performing repeated measures of variance analyses (ANOVA) for continuous variables and X2 for categorical variables using SPSS (version 16.0).

Drug Type: 
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