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Moving Past the Era of Good Intentions: Methamphetamine Treatment Study, Final Report

NCJ Number
T. Hank Robinson Ph.D.
Date Published
174 pages
This final report by Nebraska's Methamphetamine Treatment Study Team re-emphasizes the nature of the methamphetamine (MA) problem in the State as indicated in the team's "Initial Report" extends the original findings to reflect comments and concerns raised about the "Initial Report," and establishes a baseline from which future program design, policy debates, and scholarly research can proceed.
The report indicates that the recommendations for the State are based not on the prevalence of MA users in any given justice or social service system, but rather on the State's ability to establish the continuum of assessment, treatment, and recovery as needed for all substance abusers. Nebraska currently faces such a severe shortage of substance-abuse clinicians and treatment professionals that every level of service within the continuum of care has a waiting list. The solution to this circumstance depends on the State's ability to develop a cadre of clinicians and treatment specialists to fill existing gaps. Although the MA problem is often discussed as though a substantial number of addicts are singularly dependent on MA, in fact, this is a rare circumstance. The majority of MA users can best be classified as general substance abusers. Studies show that as addicts are treated for their “primary” dependency on MA, many compensate by increasing their use of alcohol and marijuana. The crisis of MA abuse signals a shortage of effective MA treatment, but it also exposes the inadequacies of Nebraska’s overall substance abuse system. The MA addiction problem cannot be separated from the general drug abuse treatment needs of the State’s criminal justice and health and human services systems. The strategies contained in the “Initial” and “Final Reports of the Methamphetamine Treatment Study” reflect the prevailing based practices for MA and substance abuse treatment. 10 figures, 29 tables, a 70-item bibliography, and 5 appendixes with supplementary information