Pickens Co. clinic asking for people with methamphetamine addiction to participate in treatment study

PICKENS Co., SC – Researchers at a clinic in Pickens County are looking for adults who struggle with methamphetamine addiction to participate in a clinical study.

The purpose of the study is to test two medications as a possible treatment for meth.

“We aren’t tied in with law enforcement or the courthouse, or anything like that. So we want them to feel safe when they call, and for them to know that we’re not judging them or the choices that they make,” said Jessica Faulkenberry, a Research Assistant at the Behavioral Health Services of Pickens County.

The program is 19 weeks long, according to Faulkenberry, and allows volunteers to earn up to about $800 depending on participation stipulations.

“We want to see them before they’re incarcerated, before their families are torn apart,” explained Elizabeth Chapman, Director of Research at the clinic.

The two medications tested are Vivitrol and Wellbutrin.

Both are already on the market for different purposes.

Vivitrol is injected into the hip and may help get rid of the craving to get high, according to Chapman.

Wellbutrin is an antidepressant with amphetamine-like side effects, such as increased heart rate and blood pressure.

Chapman said that researchers believe it could be a safe way for addicts to get the “high” feeling without using meth, weaning people off of the drug.

“This is kind of like a little bit of a help, as they decrease their use of meth. But not addictive, neither one of the medicines are addictive,” said Chapman.

And the need for treatment is great, according to law enforcement.

Sheriff Rick Clark of the Pickens County Sheriff’s office told 7 News Friday that it’s impossible to arrest their way out of the county’s meth problem, and that if the medication works, it could be a great help.

“We see something related to meth every day that we’re here,” said Sheriff Clark.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse is funding 7 clinics across the country, including the clinic in Pickens, with a price tag of about $10 million dollars.]

If you would like to participate in the program, you are asked to call: (864) 898-5800