Prometa – Controversial Meth Treatment Program

Although not approved by the FDA, Los Angeles-based Hythiam Inc., creators of the Prometa treatment program have been the subject of much controversy since it’s release in 2003. According to a recent article in the Chicago Tribune the treatment can be quite costly and has gotten mixed reviews from those who have ventured through the program. There are some addicts that have successfully quit using Meth and others that relapsed just after using the Prometa program.

According to the Prometa site:

The program lasts 30 days and involves:

1. A medical exam
2. 3-5 physician office visits of about two hours each
3. One month of at-home prescription medications
4. Nutritional support
5. Initial psychosocial counseling

The PROMETA Treatment Program:

  • Is available on an outpatient basis
  • Combines medical, nutritional and psychosocial treatment
  • Is designed to help relieve cravings, restore nutritional balance, and improve mental clarity and so patients can engage in counseling
  • .

    So essentially, it is a program that mixes a combination of drugs that have not been FDA approved with a sensible outpatient treatment program. Personally, I don’t believe 30 days is enough time for treatment; however it appears that Prometa believes that with the drugs, cravings are reduced and treatment can be shortened so long as the guidelines provided by them are followed.

    People that are at the point of seeking treatment for either themselves or a loved one, are often times at a point of desperation where they may be willing to try anything to get meth out of their lives. This is where some physicians and providers of traditional treatment find issues with the Prometa program. The Chicago Tribune quoted one such physician:

    Jim Pickett, chairman of the Chicago Crystal Meth Task Force, says Hythiam is pushing an untested treatment on people when they are at their lowest point. His outrage grew after he saw a full-page ad for Prometa in Gay Chicago Magazine.

    “They are preying on vulnerable people,” Pickett said. “People in the throes of crystal meth addiction — and their families — are extremely vulnerable, and they are taking advantage of it.”

    On the flip side there are those that rave about the program. From the same article:

    “I had tried everything and nothing worked for me,” said Smart, 41, of suburban Tacoma, Wash. “But Prometa has.”

    My take on it is just like every other treatment program. What really makes the difference in a successful treatment program is where the addict is at in their addiction. What matters is how much they really want to change and how much effort and ownership they are willing to take in their own addiction. You could have an absolute miracle drug and still have addict that relapse. Breaking free from this addiction means not just changing a couple things in your life; it means changing everything in your life.

    Chicago Tribune article
    Prometa Website

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