The Iowa Department of Public Health received a Targeted Capacity Expansion Grant through the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT, a division of SAMHSA) in September of 1999. The Adult Methamphetamine Treatment Project began in October of that year to address the increasing number of Methamphetamine users presenting for treatment services in Iowa. In addition to presenting for treatment services, officials in Iowa were seeing an increase in arrests involving Methamphetamine, meth labs were being seized in record numbers and drug convictions related to methamphetamine use were at an all time high.
The Division of Behavioral Health and Professional Licensure has contracted with four treatment providers to expand the capacity for adult methamphetamine abusers in central Iowa. The division has contracted with the following providers; Mid-Eastern Council on Chemical Abuse (MECCA), House of Mercy, Powell CDC, and Bernie Lorenz to provide a complete continuum of care of services including residential, halfway house, outpatient, and continuing care. Services will be tailored to meet the individual needs of the clients. The effects of methamphetamine on its users are multiple. Central nervous system effects range from initial euphoria, increased alertness, paranoia, decreased appetite, and increased physical activity. The effect on the brain cells acts similar to an attention deficit disorder. Due to these multiple effects most clients need a holistic approach to treatment and cannot tolerate intense treatment experiences in the beginning. A targeted case management approach is used in order to assist clients while acclimating into a treatment and recovery environment. Moreover, treatment providers are using recommended approaches to working with clients who are either abusing or dependent upon Methamphetamine.
One of the goals of the project, to serve an additional 125 clients per year of its existence, has been achieved thus far. Another goal of the project is to have participating clients remain within the treatment continuum of care for six months.
An intensive outcome evaluation is underway as part of the project. Attempts are made to follow up on 100 percent of the clients six months after discharge and those located at the six-month point are followed up at one year. This outcome information is being evaluated to determine outcomes related to health, employment, mental health, physical health, social, and criminal justice status. This information will be used to make policy decisions regarding the best type of treatment for the Methamphetamine user/abuser.
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