There is the lure of the positive effects of stimulants: elevation of mood, increased alertness, reduced fatigue, increased energy, and relief from boredom. But the feeling of reward that comes from increased dopaminergic neurotransmission that activates the reward system of the nucleus accumbens can quickly lead to obsessive use and dependency. With increased dosages, what were once pleasant effects turn into anxiety, insomnia, irritability, and the need for higher and higher dosages to achieve the desired effect. Successful treatment of stimulant-use disorders must include pharmacology, nonpharmacological treatment, training and reinforcement of behavior change, and supportive social systems.
For this Discussion, consider why treatments for stimulant-use disorders have been ineffective and how treatment might be improved in the future. As you prepare for the Discussion, also take into account the role of the placebo effect as it relates to the treatment of stimulant-use disorders (refer to the Looby and Earleywine article in the Learning Resources).
Write an explanation for why researchers have not found any efficacious treatments for stimulant-use disorders. Include in your explanation an analysis of why previously tested treatments have failed. Be sure to include sociocultural and economic issues and references to the placebo effect in your Discussion. Finally, generate strategies for improving treatment of stimulant-use disorders.
Advokat, C. D., & Comaty, J. E., & Julien, R. M. (2019). Julien’s primer of drug action: A comprehensive guide to the actions, uses, and side effects of psychoactive drugs (14th ed.). New York, NY: Worth Publishers/Macmillan.
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