Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Stimulant use disorders are highly prevalent with a large burden of disease. Most clinical guidelines recommend psychosocial interventions, but there are no clear hierarchies or indications. Moreover, these interventions have been reported unevenly in the literature. Identifying the most suitable treatment for each patient therefore represents a major challenge. In this review, we describe all psychosocial interventions for stimulant use disorders investigated in randomized controlled trials - including contingency management, cognitive behavioral interventions, community reinforcement approach, 12-step program, meditation-based interventions and physical exercise, supportive expressive psychodynamic therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, family therapy, motivational interviewing, drug counseling -, and we synthesize the main findings of these studies. Similarities and differences between treatments are highlighted, suggesting that distinct psychosocial interventions can be relevant for certain patients' groups but not for others. Conversely, several interventions can be equally effective in similar clinical contexts, suggesting that a shared element such as therapeutic alliance is key. Finally, combined approaches emerge as a viable option for people with complex needs. Future studies will need to benchmark psychosocial interventions in stimulant use disorders and ascertain markers of response with a view to individualized treatment.

Original publication




Journal article


Riv Psichiatr

Publication Date





233 - 255