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Psychosocial interventions for stimulant use disorder in adults

Kyle Kampman, MD
Section Editor
Andrew J Saxon, MD
Deputy Editor
Richard Hermann, MD


Cocaine, methamphetamine, and other stimulant use disorders are significant public health problems. In the United States, for example, there are 1.5 million regular cocaine users and approximately 353,000 regular methamphetamine users [1]. Cocaine and methamphetamine users have significantly elevated rates of medical morbidity and utilization of health care resources [2].

Only psychosocial interventions have proven efficacious in reducing stimulant use in patients with stimulant use disorders, but these treatments alone are insufficient for many patients. No medications have been shown in randomized trials to be consistently efficacious for stimulant use disorders.

Psychosocial interventions for stimulant use disorder are reviewed here. Our approach to selecting treatment for stimulant use disorder is described separately. The epidemiology, clinical manifestations, course, consequences, assessment, and diagnosis of cocaine use disorder and methamphetamine use disorder are described separately. Pharmacotherapy for stimulant use disorder and prescription drug misuse are also discussed separately. (See "Cocaine use disorder in adults: Epidemiology, pharmacology, clinical manifestations, medical consequences, and diagnosis" and "Methamphetamine use disorder: Epidemiology, clinical manifestations, course, assessment, and diagnosis" and "Pharmacotherapy for stimulant use disorders in adults" and "Prescription drug misuse: Epidemiology, prevention, identification, and management".)


Our approach to selecting treatment for stimulant use disorder, including psychosocial interventions and medication, is described separately. (See "Approach to treatment of stimulant use disorder in adults".)


Stimulants subject to abuse and addiction include:

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Aug 23, 2016.
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