June 28, 2023 – Oakland, CA –Investigators at Alameda Health System’s (AHS) Bridge Clinic are participating in a new, six-city trial of injectable buprenorphine for the treatment of methamphetamine use disorder in adults who also use opioids. This is the first study to investigate the drug’s efficacy in treating the two co-addictions simultaneously.

“People who use methamphetamine are involved in over half of all overdose deaths and there is a desperate need to find effective treatments for this patient population,” said Erik Anderson, MD, principal investigator at AHS and Associate Medical Director of the Bridge Program. “Many patients use opioids in addition to methamphetamine, and examining treatment options for people using multiple substances is particularly important.”

While buprenorphine has been used to treat opioid use disorder since 2002, there are currently no FDA-approved treatments for methamphetamine use disorder or methamphetamine use disorder together with opioid co-use.

The first-of-its-kind trial, available locally at AHS’s Bridge Clinic at the Wilma Chan Highland Hospital Campus in Oakland, CA, is a 12-week randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. The Bridge Clinic hopes to enroll 41 of the 246 participants to be recruited nationwide over the next two years.

The study is designated for those with moderate to severe methamphetamine use disorder coupled with mild opioid use disorder or opioid misuse. It is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the National Institutes of Health, and the Helping to End Addiction Long-term (HEAL) Initiative.

“Using buprenorphine as a treatment for methamphetamine use disorder and opioid co-use is a promising option for this high-risk patient population. Our hope is that the extended-release buprenorphine formulation will help patients use less methamphetamine and improve their quality of life,” said Anderson.

To be considered for the study, participants must be seeking treatment for methamphetamine use disorder and opioid co-use, be 18-65 in age, and be able to attend twice-weekly outpatient clinic visits. The trial evaluates patients with twice-weekly urine drug screens as well as self-reported frequency of methamphetamine and opioid co-use.

In addition to AHS’s Bridge Clinic, participating institutions include: University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, University of California Los Angeles, Comprehensive Options for Drug Addiction (CODA), Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences, and the University of Washington Harborview Medical Center.

For more information on this Bridge Clinic-based study, call (510) 500-5312 or email murb.ctn0110@gmail.com

Research reported in this press release is supported by the Clinical Trials Network at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the National Institutes of Health, under award UG1DA020024. Additional support was provided by the NIH HEAL Initiative. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

About Helping to End Addiction Long-term® (HEAL) Initiative
The Helping to End Addiction Long-term® Initiative, or NIH HEAL Initiative®, is an aggressive, trans-NIH effort to speed scientific solutions to stem the national opioid public health crisis. Launched in April 2018, the initiative is focused on improving prevention and treatment strategies for opioid misuse and addiction, and enhancing pain management. For more information, visit: https://heal.nih.gov.

About The Bridge Clinic
The AHS Bridge Clinic uses a social emergency medicine approach to support emergency providers and their community partners with funding, tools, and training to help them better serve people who have been traditionally excluded from the healthcare system. For more information, visit The AHS Bridge Clinic. 

About Alameda Health System
Alameda Health System (AHS) is a leading public integrated health care provider and medical training institution recognized for its world-class patient and family-centered care. AHS provides comprehensive medical treatment, health promotion and disease prevention throughout our integrated network of hospitals, clinics and health services. AHS includes three acute care hospitals, a psychiatric hospital, four ambulatory care wellness centers, five post-acute facilities, and the only adult Level 1 Trauma Center and psychiatric emergency department in Alameda County. AHS is committed to promoting wellness and optimizing the health of the community through the mission of caring, healing, teaching and serving all. For more information, visit AlamedaHealthSystem.org.


CONTACT: Eleanor Ajala
Manager, Media and Communications
Alameda Health System
(510) 421-9222