Stimulant Use Disorder not only has adverse effects on the physical and mental health of individuals, but is also a public health problem with significant negative impacts on society. Due to the absence of a medication-based treatment that is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), medical professionals rely heavily on behavioral interventions and practices.
Once addiction has taken hold, professional care is recommended for the best chance at a complete recovery. The following methods are known to be among the most effective in treating stimulant use disorder.
Contingency Management (CM)
Contingency management is the most effective treatment currently available for Stimulant Use Disorder, and is a type of behavioral therapy grounded in the principles of operant conditioning. Operant conditioning is a method of learning in which desired behaviors are reinforced with prizes, privileges, or cash. This type of treatment provides rewards for the desired behaviors such as clean drug tests. At times, the act of withholding rewards may be taken when an individual seeking treatment engages in an undesirable behavior such as improperly using substances.
Motivational Interviewing (MI)
Motivational interviewing is a commonly used treatment approach that helps individuals recovering from Substance Use Disorder overcome ambivalent feelings and insecurities. In the process, individuals become motivated to change their behavior and reduce or stop their substance use.
Community Reinforcement Approach (CRA)
One behavioral therapy approach that is commonly used in combination with CM is the community reinforcement approach. CRA’s goal is to identify behaviors reinforcing stimulant use and make a substance-free lifestyle more rewarding than one that includes drugs and alcohol. CRA is based on the belief that environmental factors can play a powerful role in encouraging or discouraging drug use. Consequently, it utilizes social, recreational, familial, and vocational support systems to assist drug users in the recovery process. Its goal is to make a drug free lifestyle more rewarding than the use of substances.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a short-term, goal-oriented psychotherapy treatment that enables individuals to understand their current problems, challenges, and experiences in order to change their behaviors and patterns of thinking. CBT helps clients develop accurate assessments of circumstances and their feelings so they can develop realistic strategies.
In short, treatment helps you move into a healthy, addiction-free lifestyle—into a way of living referred to as recovery.