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Arkansas researchers study links between meth & stress

Researchers at UAMS are working to combat methamphetamine addiction in particular.

Drug abuse is a nationwide problem that we are all too familiar with in Arkansas. Some studies show it's on the rise because of COVID-19.

Researchers at UAMS are working to combat methamphetamine addiction in particular.

“Here in Arkansas, the number one cause of drug overdose death is methamphetamine,” Dr. Michael Wilson said.

Wilson, an assistant professor in the UAMS Department of Emergency Medicine, is conducting the “Stress in Meth Study.

“It is extremely prevalent and dangerous,” he said of meth use. “We are trying to figure out how we can help folks who use meth to stop using meth.”

Wilson is studying how meth changes the body's response to stress – particularly in the emergency room. He'll examine how meth users respond to stressors in a simulated ER setting.

“Once we figure out how the stress system has changed, I think the next step is to figure out ‘how can we treat it?’” he said. “How can we help folks who have used meth who may have altered the same stress systems that you and I have and have changed those in their body? How can we help them respond to stress better in a way that it doesn't involve meth?”

Wilson is looking for methamphetamine users to participate in the study. Participants must be 21-55 years old, have visited an ER at least once, and cannot be seeking treatment for meth use. Patient information will remain confidential, Wilson said.

It involves three 3-hour visits to UAMS and participants will be paid for their time. Click here for more information or call 501-570-6362.