Treatment options for overcoming stimulant drug addiction, from the Harvard Mental Health Letter

Two million Americans are addicted to cocaine or other types of stimulants. Breaking free from this kind of addiction is a formidable task. The March 2009 issue of the Harvard Mental Health Letter outlines current treatment options for stimulant addiction and looks at how a vaccine might offer some aid. Psychotherapy remains a mainstay of treatment. Various techniques can help individuals "unlearn" an addiction, resist cravings, and build a drug-free life. Options include cognitive behavioral therapy, contingency management, and a multi-pronged method called the Matrix Model. No medication is currently approved by the FDA for treating cocaine or stimulant addiction. Drugs approved for other uses may be of use, but require further research. Drugs currently under study include:
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