There has been an enormous increase in the number of people seeking treatment for stimulant addictions over the past few years. The majority of individuals seeking treatment are likely to be poly-drug users, or users of many substances. So, such addiction is a complex problem with a myriad of biological, social, familial, and environmental factors. Therefore, the treatment is usually complex and must address a variety of problems involving the psychobiological, social, and pharmacological aspects of the patients’ drug abuse.
With the treatment process being complex, organizations are aggressively pursuing the identification and testing of new treatment medications. Several newly emerging compounds are being investigated to assess their safety and efficacy in treating addiction. One of the most promising drug medications to date is Selegeline. Disulfiram, a medication that has been used to treat alcoholism, has also been shown in clinical studies to be effective in reducing drug abuse. Because of mood changes experienced during the early stages of drug abstinence, antidepressant drugs produce great benefits.
Many behavioral treatments have been found to be very effective including both residential and outpatient approaches. Integration of both types of treatments is proved to be the most effective approach for treating addiction. This may include adding to or removing from an individual's treatment regimen different components or elements.
A famous behavioral therapy component that shows positive results in many drug-addicted populations is contingency management. Contingency management uses a voucher-based system to give positive rewards for staying in treatment and remaining drug free. Based on drug-free urine tests, the patients earn points that can be exchanged for items capable of encouraging healthy living, such as joining a gym or going to a movie and dinner.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is another approach to help them abstain from drugs. It emphasizes addicts during the learning process about the addicting conditions and guides them to refrain from them in the future. Therapeutic communities or residential programs with planned lengths of stay of 6 to 12 months focus on the resocialization of the individual to society.
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