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[A preliminary study on outpatient relapse prevention program for methamphetamine dependent patients: Serigaya Methamphetamine Relapse Prevention Program (SMARPP)].

[Article in Japanese]

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  • 1Kanagawa Psychiatric Center, Kinkou Hospital, 2-5-1 Serigaya, Konan-ku, Yokohama 233-0006, Japan.


Although methamphetamine use disorder has been prevalent in Japan for more than fifty years, there have been hardly any effective medical treatment modalities other than improving methamphetamine-induced psychosis through hospitalization and/or participation in self help groups and private rehabilitation centers. As such limited social resources for recovering methamphetamine dependents are insufficient to prevent patients from relapse, there are growing needs for developing effective outpatient treatment program based on a chronic care perspective. We have developed a relapse prevention program for Japanese methamphetamine abusers, modifying "Matrix" model and incorporating other treatment materials. Then a preliminary study on implementing the program was conducted in an outpatient setting at Kanagawa Psychiatric Center, Serigaya Hospital. Of sixty eight methamphetamine dependent patients who visited the hospital for the first time between September 2006 and February 2007, four agreed to participate in the study. The program was manual- and workbook-based, and we suggested participants to attend to the session three-times per week for two months. Also participants were asked randomly to turn in urine samples once a week. The participants consisted of a female and three males, with an average age of thirty. The length of abstinent period since the last use varied substantially, from five days to more than four years. Three had the experience of serving in prison for violating the Stimulant Drugs Control Law. The results of the present study were that all four completed the program, and presented with negative urine samples throughout the period. However, in terms of treatment retention, two out of the four dropped out of the outpatient treatment within a month after the program termination. These outcomes suggest that a relapse prevention program may successfully be provided for Japanese methamphetamine abusers in an outpatient setting, with a favorable, treatment retaining effect during the program period.

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