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HEARTT Methamphetamine Treatment Project

Methamphetamine is the most common primary drug of addiction for individuals seeking treatment in San Diego County, surpassing even alcohol and cocaine. Despite the growing prevalence of methamphetamine production and use across the country, studies regarding the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of methamphetamine treatment programs are sorely lacking.
In 1998, the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment solicited proposals for the replication and evaluation of an outpatient treatment program for methamphetamine-addicted individuals called MATRIX. In partnership with the EYE Counseling and Crisis Services, the SANDAG Criminal Justice Research Division was selected to investigate the effectiveness of these programs.

Both males and females ages 18 years or older were eligible to participate in the program. Participants also met criteria for methamphetamine dependency and agreed to complete study forms and provide urine samples for drug testing. The EYE's Family Recovery Center, a substance abuse treatment and recovery center for pregnant and parenting women, served as the comparison program for the study.

SANDAG was responsible for conducting the process evaluation and impact assessment of the project. The process evaluation determined if the program was implemented as intended and what problems were faced during the replication process.

The impact assessment measured the effectiveness of the two treatment programs in terms of recovery and improved life functioning for a period of 12 months after program completion.

Project Manager

Dr. Cynthia Burke, Director, Research and Program Management
Phone: (619) 699-1910, Email:

For media inquiries, please contact the SANDAG Public Information Office at (619) 699-1950 or