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Treatment for Stimulant Addiction

Treatment for stimulant addiction include medical detox, therapy, and supportive care. Treatment can take place via inpatient or outpatient rehab, but it’s imperative that care is tailored to the unique needs of each individual. 

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What Is the Most Recommended Treatment for Stimulant Addiction?

Stimulant is an umbrella term that refers to many types of drugs that increase activity of the central nervous system and commonly produce a pleasurable, euphoric effect. 

There are no FDA-approved medications that are used specifically to treat stimulant use disorder, as there are with alcohol use disorder and opioid use disorder. The most recommended treatment for stimulant use disorder is therapy, primarily behavioral therapy. Medications may sometimes be used to treat specific symptoms associated with withdrawal or co-occurring disorders. 

Medical Stimulant Detox

Stimulants can create tolerance and dependence, making them highly susceptible to abuse and addiction. The first step of most addiction treatment programs for stimulant abuse will involve detox.

Since there isn’t a medication that is used to treat stimulant withdrawal, medical detox simply involves medical supervision and support as your body processes stimulants out of it. You may receive supportive care, such as IV hydration or medications to address specific withdrawal symptoms, such as medications to assist with sleep or nausea. 

Inpatient Rehab

Inpatient rehab is considered the most intensive approach to treatment for stimulant addiction. In this type of program, you’ll live at the treatment facility around the clock, and your days will be filled with therapy, skills-building workshops, educational sessions, and healthy activities, such as yoga, gentle exercise, or mindfulness meditation.

The goal of inpatient rehab is to fully focus on your recovery for a set period of time. Most often, these programs last about a month.

Outpatient Rehab

Sometimes, people will transition out of inpatient rehab into outpatient rehab, whereas others begin their recovery journey in outpatient care . Outpatient treatment programs can be both intensive and non-intensive in nature, depending on your needs. 

Many of the same treatment services are available in inpatient and outpatient rehab, such as individual and group counseling sessions. You may also participate in a range of supportive therapies or other healthy activities that help you to build skills and the structure of a balanced life in recovery.

Peer Support Groups for Stimulant Addiction

Most addiction treatment programs will incorporate some type of peer support group meetings into their programming. In these meetings, you’ll meet with others who are working their way through recovery, and you’ll have the opportunity to both share your experience and learn from their experiences. 

These programs often encourage accountability through a relationship with a sponsor. This dynamic can be highly effective in preventing relapse and facilitating positive coping with relapse triggers. 

While you can potentially find groups that are dedicated to the specific stimulant you abused, such as Cocaine Anonymous, you can also participate in general peer support groups for addiction. Examples include Narcotics Anonymous, SMART Recovery, and LifeRing Secular Recovery. 

The Importance of Therapy in Stimulant Addiction Recovery

Therapy will be the backbone of your treatment for stimulant addiction. In these sessions, which may take place on an individual or group basis, you’ll identify factors in your life that contributed to your stimulant abuse. You’ll then develop skills and coping mechanisms to better deal with these issues, so you don’t return to stimulant abuse in the future. 

The type of therapy you receive will depend on a range of factors, such as your needs and preferences, the recommendations of your care team, and the availability of services. Examples of types of therapy you may receive in stimulant addiction treatment include the following:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • Contingency management (CM)
  • Motivational enhancement therapy (MET)
  • Family therapy
  • Couples therapy
  • Art therapy
  • Music therapy
  • Equine-assisted therapy or animal assisted therapy
  • Expressive therapy

A Balanced Approach to Recovery

You’ll also likely participate in a range of healthy and beneficial activities in stimulant rehab, such as meditation sessions, yoga or stretching classes, and group activities. As you find activities you enjoy, you’ll begin to build the foundation of a more balanced and productive life in recovery.

While there isn’t a quick fix for stimulant addiction, people recover from this addiction every day. The key is to find a treatment program that will personalize your care and offer you support on every step of the recovery journey.

Updated August 30, 2023
  1. Treatment of Stimulant Use Disorders: Current Practices and Promising Perspectives. (2023). United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
  2. The Search for Medications to Treat Stimulant Dependence. (June 2008). Addiction Science & Clinical Practice.
  3. Pharmacological Strategies for Detoxification. (February 2014). British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.
  4. Evidence Based Resource Guide Series: Treatment of Stimulant Use Disorders. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
  5. Cocaine Anonymous.
  6. Benefits of Peer Support Groups in the Treatment of Addiction. (September 2016). Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation.
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