Understanding decision-making to inform methamphetamine treatment

1 Apr 2019

Researchers are seeking participants for a study that aims to identify the elements that impact decision-making, including the reasons why people continue to use harmful drugs.

The Cognitive profiles as predictors of treatment: A naturalistic prospective cohort study is a collaboration between Monash University and Turning Point (Eastern Health). 

Alex Robinson is the project coordinator and said the study hopes to unlock some of the mystery around decision-making amongst ice users. 

“We know that many people continue to use methamphetamine despite it hurting them, so it appears they may be having difficulty making optimal choices about their health,” Alex said. 

“If we can understand why people make the decisions they do – for example, past habits, future goals, reward or punishment – then we can use this to inform future treatments for addiction, help clients and clinicians understand why these poor decisions are being made and help remove the stigma about methamphetamine addiction simply being an issue of willpower.” 

The study requires drug and alcohol clinicians to refer clients who have had or are currently having treatment for methamphetamine use disorder. 

It also requires men from the general public who haven’t used drugs, or used drugs less than 10 times in their life, and have not completed tertiary education. 

Participation involves two sessions of approximately 1.5 hours and includes a number of questionnaires and computer tasks on decision-making. Participants receive a $40 gift card and decision-making report upon completion of the study. 

Researchers will work with participants in their local area, across the greater Melbourne region. 

If you or someone you know is suitable, please contact alex.robinson1@monash.edu or call 0490 417 943. 

Media contact: Ashlea O’Hea, Communications Adviser, (03) 9895 4879 or Chris Reid, Media & Publications Coordinator, (03) 9092 6771