The effect of cognitive training on impulse control among Methamphetamine addicts in the Western Cape
Coetzee, Gert J. E.
MetadataShow full item record
Substance use addiction is a debilitating and destructive human disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. Of all the provinces in South Africa, the Western Cape has the highest rate of MA use. This highly addictive stimulant, locally known as 'tik', has multiple physiological, psychological, and social effects on the user. The effects are associated with neurocognitive deficits that include deficiencies in working memory and high rates of delay discounting. Current neuropsychopharmacology literature seems to suggest that changes in neurotransmitter functioning and particular brain areas occur that contribute to some of the addictive behaviours associated with chronic MA use. New evidence is emerging that working memory training can help to improve rates of impulsivity in those addicted to MA by strengthening cognitive control. The aim of this project was to establish whether differences in impulse control existed in a sample of 33 male patients at a Western Cape drug rehabilitation centre who received either working memory training with standard drug rehabilitation and or standard drug rehabilitation only. Data was collected with a self-report impulsivity scale (BIS – 11) and analysed using inferential statistics. The results suggest that working memory training, when paired with a standard rehabilitation program, has superior effects in decreasing self-reported rates of impulsivity when compared to standard rehabilitation only. These findings suggest that working memory training may serve as a useful addition to improving impulsivity rates in MA rehabilitation treatment. Further research on a larger scale is required to investigate the findings of this project.