Home > Cognitive‐behavioural treatment for amphetamine‐type stimulants (ATS)‐use disorders.

Harada, Takayuki and Tsutomi, Hiroshi and Mori, Rintaro and Wilson, David B (2019) Cognitive‐behavioural treatment for amphetamine‐type stimulants (ATS)‐use disorders. Campbell Systematic Reviews, 15, (1-2 e1026), https://doi.org/10.1002/cl2.1026.

External website: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cl2.10...

1.1.1 What was the aim of this review?

The aim of this Cochrane review was to find out whether cognitive‐behavioural treatment (CBT) is effective to treat people with amphetamine‐type stimulants (ATS)‐use disorders. Researchers in the Drugs and Alcohol Group of Cochrane collected and analysed all relevant studies to answer this question and found two studies.


1.1.2 Key messages

The current evidence was inadequate to draw any firm evidence‐based treatment recommendations for the client population.


1.1.3 What was studied in the review?

ATS are a group of synthetic stimulants and their use has been widespread globally. These types of drugs are highly addictive and prolonged use may result in a series of mental and physical symptoms including anxiety, confusion, insomnia (difficulty sleeping), mood disturbances, cognitive impairments (difficulty thinking and understanding), paranoia (irrational feeling that people are 'out to get you'), hallucinations (where someone experiences something that does not exist outside their own mind) and delusion (a mistaken belief).


Currently there is no widely accepted treatment for ATS‐use disorder. However, CBT is often the first choice of treatment. It is a psychological treatment (talking therapy) approach to modify distorted thoughts and beliefs, and maladaptive behaviours (things that people do to stop them from adjusting to situations). The effectiveness of CBT for other substance‐use disorders (e.g. alcohol‐, opioid‐ and cocaine‐use disorders) has been well documented and as such this basic treatment approach has been applied to the ATS‐use disorder. These types of therapies are expected to prevent relapse and decrease drug use.


1.1.4 What are the main results of the review?

The review authors found two eligible studies. Both studies were conducted in Australia. One study compared a single session of brief CBT to a waiting‐list control where participants received no treatment during the study period. One study compared web‐based CBT to a waiting‐list control. Both studies were funded by the Australian Government of Health and Ageing.


The review showed that when participants received CBT, compared to waiting‐list control, there was no difference. There was insufficient evidence to conclude that CBT was effective or ineffective at treating ATS‐use disorders.

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