Amphetamines versus Cocaine: Treatments


In previous posts, we shared with you the symptoms and effects of abusing amphetamines and cocaine. This time around, we will be sharing the treatments that are available to help abusers kick their habits.

amphetamineAn article on Testcountry shared information regarding the management of amphetamine dependency, as written by Malcolm Bruce, consultant psychiatrist in Addiction at the Community Drug Problem Service, at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital. Bruce shared that management protocols are classified as follows: assessment, management of dependence, and relapse.

The treatment of amphetamine addiction fundamentally starts with assessment. At this level, the objective is to identify the experimental or recreational users of the drug. Once the level of amphetamine use is determined, psychiatrists are able to dispense appropriate advice.

There are three factors that are considered in the management of amphetamine dependence: the drug, the environment of the patient, and the patient himself or herself. If, for instance, the patient is still unable to stop using amphetamines completely, then management of dependence can be geared towards reducing the harmful effects of using the drugs. Concurrent to these efforts, though, is providing education regarding the dangers associated with amphetamine use, and what options are available for overcoming the habit.

At the relapse stage, treatment consists of raising awareness about what causes relapse, development of skills to anticipate, avoid and cope with high-risk situations that may lead to relapse, and changing one’s lifestyle.

Treatment of cocaine addiction, on the other hand, focuses on reducing cravings and managing depression. Lois White, in the book Foundations of Nursing, wrote that cocaine users experience an intense craving for the drug, and is in denial regarding its being addictive. Some patients who need to be treated for cocaine dependency may require in-patient care, while others can receive out-patient treatment.

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