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by Professor Fabrizio
Schifano and Dr Antonio
Last updated: May 2015
Stimulants are the most commonly used
substances for recreational purposes worldwide.
Even occasional misuse may result in a number
of detrimental effects, by increasing the risks of acute, chronic
physical and mental health problems.
This module firstly summarises the biological
mechanisms of action of stimulants and how their use can lead to
chronic addiction and dependence. We then highlight how treatment
approaches should mirror the clinical complexity of stimulant
misuse, whilst incorporating psychiatric, medical and social
In structuring services for substance misuse,
organisational strategies should take into account the specific
needs of service users. Only a clear appreciation of the
epidemiology of stimulant misuse and a better understanding of the
new trends in drug scenarios will allow allocation of appropriate
Although unfortunately therapeutic options
with robust evidence of effectiveness are generally lacking, we
will focus attention on those research findings that have the
largest body of agreement between theory and treatment.
If you like this module, you may also be
Stimulants: epidemiology and impact on mental
health by Professor Fabrizio Schifano and Dr Antonio
brain damage by Prof Kenneth Wilson, Dr Joy Bell and Dr Vanessa
Helping the addicted doctor by Dr Elizabeth Hare
and Dr Malcolm Bruce
Book from RCPsych Publications:
Drug Misuse: Psychosocial Interventions - The NICE
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