/ Modified dec 14, 2018 4:31 p.m.

Combined Meth and Heroin Use More Prevalent, Doctor Says

Understanding how the brain responds to stimulants like meth.

More people are using meth and opioids simultaneously, according to Leonard Ditmanson, a doctor at em>Arizona Rehab Campus. Arizona 360 heard from Ditmanson about the reasons the two drugs are used in conjunction more often and challenges associated with treating substance abuse.

"Methamphetamine is used to prevent the person from falling asleep or nodding off … an antidote, if you will, to the sedative effects of the heroin," Ditmanson said. "This is chronic disease management. The concept for a lot of addiction is that you just have an intervention of some kind, maybe a five-day detox, a 30-day residential treatment, even a 90-day residential treatment. I think that modelling is not appropriate anymore."

Ditmanson treated Kelsey Beitel at Arizona Rehab Campus in Tucson beginning in 2017. He said she went through detox at least four times.

Arizona 360
Arizona 360 airs Fridays at 8:30 p.m. on PBS 6 and Saturdays at 8 p.m. on PBS 6 PLUS. See more from Arizona 360.
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