PsychMed has introduced the Matrix intensive outpatient methamphetamine treatment program to South Australia and was the first organisation to offer this program to the general public in Australia.
The program originally developed in the US by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and has been described as the “Gold Standard” for methamphetamine treatment as it is intensive, long term, abstinence-oriented program that involves family members and is offered jointly by qualified psychologists and Lived Experience Mentors- people with a personal history of addiction and recovery.
The program as developed by SAMHSA has generously been placed in the public domain with the main manual available at https://store.samhsa.gov/shin/content//SMA13-4152/SMA13-4152.pdf
The program was developed in the US in the 90s to respond to the cocaine epidemic in the US and over time has been modified to respond the emergence of widespread methamphetamine use. PsychMed developed the program to suit the Australian drug using environment. This has involved modifying the existing content, developing updated content, and changing the program structure.
Content development has directed the program content towards a neurobiological approach to addiction as this is a bourgeoning area of understanding in addiction and is very well received by the client group. New content includes material on Anxiety and sleep, a CBT approach to mood, Pain, Conceptualisations of addiction, finding meaning and Gambling. Changes in the program structure include implementing gender groups rather than women’s groups, changing the way family are involved, and extending the program to a 20 week intensive program.
The Lived Experience contribution to the program has been huge with our LEMs developing a range of new content for the Social Support component of the program.
PsychMed has worked with other service providers in Australia to form a National Matrix Alliance (NMA) aimed at developing mutual support in running and developing the programs. The NMA aims to assist program development by sharing information and expertise between providers and supporting the quality to the programs.
PsychMed currently runs 7 day and evening programs in Adelaide SA and our experience has been that clients enjoy the program and rate it highly, many attributing it to saving their lives. This does not understate the chaotic lives of clients that makes it had for them to commit to and stay involved in the program and the multiple drugs used by all clients entering the program that makes the abstinence orientation a struggle.
However initial results from PsychMed indicate treatment outcomes at least as positive as the US program and a many many changed lives through the program. We have found that the intensity, involvement of family and neuropsych content of the program are major contributors to client success in the Matrix.
For further information contact PsychMed Adelaide SA