Open Peer Review reports
Oxytocin-enhanced motivational interviewing group therapy for methamphetamine use disorder in men who have sex with men: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial
© The Author(s). 2019
- Published: 21 February 2019
The prevalence of methamphetamine use disorder (MUD) in the United States has risen dramatically in the past four decades and is concentrated in populations such as men who have sex with men (MSM). Despite the public health consequences of MUD, there are no FDA-approved psychopharmacological treatments. Psychosocial treatment alone has been shown to reduce methamphetamine use, but high attrition rates limit treatment efficacy. Promising findings from animal models of MUD using exogenous oxytocin, a social neuropeptide, have set the stage for translational work. Along with unique anti-addiction effects, oxytocin holds a primary role in enhancing social salience and modulating stress. In humans, oxytocin administration, combined with evidence-based psychosocial interventions, may act synergistically to improve addiction treatment outcomes and improve retention rates in current MUD treatment.
We are conducting a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of oxytocin-enhanced motivational interviewing group therapy (MIGT). Oxytocin or placebo 40 IU is administered intranasally in conjunction with six, weekly MIGT sessions. We will recruit 50 MSM, initiating treatment for MUD from specialized community health programs in San Francisco, CA, USA. Individuals will be randomized (1:1) to receive six, weekly sessions of MIGT with or without oxytocin. Our primary outcome is session attendance. Other outcomes of interest include: measures of group cohesion, anxiety, psychophysiology, and stimulant craving and use.
This will be the first study of oxytocin’s effects in humans with MUD. Findings from this novel protocol will attempt to bridge existing animal data with the need for innovative clinical treatments for MUD, inform the growing field of pharmacologically-enhanced psychotherapy, and help to elucidate mechanisms behind oxytocin’s potential anti-addiction effects.
ClinicalTrials.gov, ID: NCT02881177. Registered on 26 August 2016.
- Methamphetamine use disorder
- Men who have sex with men
- Motivational interviewing
- Group therapy
- Drug-assisted psychotherapy