Running Over the Same Old Ground

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Running Over the Same Old Ground

As yet, there is no efficacious treatment for stimulant-use disorders (e.g., cocaine, methamphetamine, etc.). Stimulants antagonize dopamine, but dopamine antagonism has widespread negative effects, so that is likely not a possible treatment. Stimulants are also performance-enhancing drugs, allowing users to run faster, jump higher, stay awake longer. As such, “liking” stimulants may be a trait conserved during evolution. How might this idea play a role in the difficulty researchers have encountered in finding treatments for stimulant dependence?

For this Discussion, consider the following:

  • Why, in the past decades, have researchers still not found any efficacious treatment for stimulant-used disorders?
  • Based on what you’ve learned in this course so far, what else can possibly be tried to treat stimulant-use disorders?

Post by Day 4 an explanation for the reason(s) researchers have not found any efficacious treatment for stimulant-used disorders. Include in your explanation an analysis of why previously tested treatments have failed, and in what direction you think this research could go in the future. Be sure to address the physical and psychological withdrawal of stimulants as they relate to previously failed treatments (e.g., cocaine is not physically addictive). Finally, propose a treatment for stimulant-use disorders.

Be sure to cite Learning Resources on use, abuse and dependence, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodyanmics, and neurotransmitter systems.


  • Julien, R. M., Advokat, C. D., & Comaty, J. E. (2014). Julien’s primer of drug action: A comprehensive guide to the actions, uses, and side effects of psychoactive drugs (13th ed.). New York, NY: Worth Publishers/Macmillan.
    • Chapter 6, “Caffeine and Nicotine” (pp. 167–200)
    • Chapter 7, “Cocaine, the Amphetamines, and Other Psychostimulants” (pp. 201–236)
    • Chapter 9, “Cannabis” (pp. 267–296)
  • McKim, W. A., & Hancock, S. D. (2012). Drugs and behavior: An introduction to behavioral pharmacology (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
    • Chapter 8, “Tobacco and Nicotine” (pp. 182–208)
    • Chapter 9, “Caffeine and the Methylxanthines” (pp. 209–227
    • Chapter 10, “Psychomotor Stimulants” (pp. 228–253)
  • Sigmon, S. C., Herning, R. I., Better, W., Cadet, J. L., & Griffiths, R. R. (2009). Caffeine withdrawal, acute effects, tolerance, and absence of net beneficial effects of chronic administration: Cerebral blood flow velocity, quantitative EEG, and subjective effects. Psychopharmacology, 204(4), 573–585.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse. (n.d.). Drugs of abuse.Retrieved from
  • U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. (2012, June). Drug fact sheets. Retrieved from

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