Current Psychiatry Reports

, Volume 10, Issue 5, pp 385–391 | Cite as

Use of stimulants to treat cocaine and methamphetamine abuse

  • F. Gerard Moeller
  • Joy M. Schmitz
  • David Herin
  • Kimberly L. Kjome
Article

Abstract

The concept of using stimulants to treat cocaine and methamphetamine dependence is largely based on the “replacement” therapy model that has shown efficacy for treating nicotine and opiate dependence. Although results have been mixed, some evidence supports using stimulant medication to reduce cocaine use. There are not enough data to date to determine the efficacy of stimulants for methamphetamine dependence. Drawbacks of stimulants as treatments include the potential for abuse of the treatment, which necessitates careful screening and monitoring of patients. Possible reasons for efficacy of stimulants include enhancement of monoamine function dysregulated by chronic cocaine or methamphetamine use. Newer medications that enhance dopamine function but lack the abuse potential of older stimulants are being studied. It is hoped that these medications will provide safe, effective treatment for cocaine and methamphetamine dependence, but more research on this topic is needed.

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Copyright information

© Current Medicine Group LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Gerard Moeller
    • 1
  • Joy M. Schmitz
  • David Herin
  • Kimberly L. Kjome
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesUniversity of Texas Health Science Center at HoustonHoustonUSA

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