Oxytocin for Methamphetamine Trial


Methamphetamine use disorder is a significant public health concern, estimated to cost Australians over $5 billion annually. In 2016/17 there were 49,670 Australian treatment episodes for methamphetamine, the first step of which typically involves inpatient withdrawal. Currently there are no approved medications to help manage methamphetamine withdrawal and consequently many people drop out of treatment prematurely, leaving them vulnerable to relapse.

This study is a novel pilot study aiming to trial a world-first approach to improving treatment outcomes for individuals experiencing methamphetamine withdrawal. We will investigate the effectiveness of an investigational medication, oxytocin, in improving a range of addiction treatment outcomes during a one-week residential withdrawal admission (detox), as well as the early recovery period. We aim to identify whether oxytocin will help treat withdrawal symptoms and craving, and whether it will assist in improving the likelihood of completion of detox. The study has a specific focus on women. This is because literature suggests that responses to oxytocin may be sex-specific. Women have also been identified as an under-researched group experiencing significant methamphetamine-related burden with no sex-specific treatment approaches currently available. The study is currently recruiting. 

Contact Us

If you would like further details about the trial or information on how to make a referral, please contact the study team [email protected] to learn more.

Project team

Turning Point team

Dr Shalini Arunogiri, Professor Dan Lubman, and Professor Victoria Manning.

Project partners

Dr Gill Bedi (ORYGEN, University of Melbourne), Associate Professor Rebecca McKetin (University of New South Wales), Profesor Iain McGregor (University of Sydney), and Associate Professor Femke Buisman-Pijlman (University of Melbourne).