Talking Point: Testing new medications for methamphetamine use disorder (MAUD) in young people, presented by A/Prof Gillinder Bedi and Dr Alexandre Guérin on the 23rd February 2022


Methamphetamine use commonly starts in adolescence or early adulthood. New treatment approaches for young people are required. This presentation will provide an overview of two open-label studies assessing candidate pharmacotherapies for safety and tolerability in young people (15-25 year olds) with methamphetamine use disorder (MAUD). Study 1 (MethAmphetamine use in young people: Sub-anaesthetic ketamine open-label trial; MASKOT, N = 20) will test the safety and tolerability of two sub-cutaneous doses of ketamine (initial dose 0.75 mg/kg) separated by at least 7 days. Study 2 (Cannabidiol – A novel pharmacotherapy for Lowering Methamphetamine use; CALM; N = 12) will test the safety and tolerability of 8 weeks of maintenance on the non-intoxicating cannabinoid cannabidiol (800-1000 mg/day; oral).

About the presenters

A/Prof Gillinder Bedi is Head of Substance Use Research at Orygen and Principal Research Fellow (Addiction and Youth Mental Health) at the Centre for Youth Mental Health at the University of Melbourne. She completed graduate training in clinical psychology at Monash University and postdoctoral research at the University of Chicago. Until 2017, she was a faculty member in the Division on Substance Use Disorders at Columbia University Medical Center/New York State Psychiatric Institute in NYC. Gill returned to Australia in 2017 to lead the development of a youth-focused clinical drug and alcohol research program at Orygen. Her research focuses on early intervention and new treatments for substance use problems in young people and the neurobiological mechanisms underlying the development of substance use disorders. She uses a range of research methods including clinical trials, human behavioural pharmacology, and neuroimaging (MRI).
Dr Alexandre Guérin recently completed his PhD at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health and The University of Melbourne. Under the supervision of A/Prof Jee Hyun Kim, he investigated risk factors associated with early onset methamphetamine use in people with methamphetamine use disorder. He has since joined Orygen’s Substance Use Research Group led by A/Prof Gill Bedi, and is currently the Project Manager on a suite of clinical trials investigating novel pharmacotherapies to treat methamphetamine use disorder in young people.