Recently, UCLA CBAM teamed up with community-based organization Behavioral Health Services, Inc. (BHS) to test the use of the medication bupropion to treat methamphetamine addiction in adolescents. Nine boys and 10 girls with meth addiction, who were receiving counseling at BHS, were enrolled in the study and were given either bupropion or placebo pills. The average age of participants was approximately 17.5 years

Although there was insufficient evidence to support further research on the use of bupropion in this population, we did find significant differences between boys and girls enrolled in the study, with girls showing greater meth use during the trial. The demonstrated gender difference in susceptibility to methamphetamine problems was highlighted in a UCLA Newsroom article. CBAM Medical Director and lead Investigator of the study, Dr. Keith Heinzerling, noted that these findings mirror those from research in adult populations where the severity of meth use is greater in women than in men. This suggests a need for further research to develop new interventions to improve the outcomes of treatment for addiction in girls and women.
This research was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse grant 5 R21 DA26513. To read the full article published in Journal of Adolescent Health, click here.


CBAM is a multidisciplinary center that seeks to advance the prevention and treatment of chronic illnesses, especially in communities with health disparities. As part of the UCLA Department of Family Medicine, CBAM works at the intersection of academia and community with a focus on treating addictions and preventing the spread of HIV.

© The UCLA Center for Behavioral & Addiction Medicine (CBAM). All Rights Reserved.