Treatment and support

Counselling techniques such as cognitive behavioural therapy or motivational interviewing have been found to be useful strategies to support people who are trying to stop or reduce their amphetamine or cocaine use [23510]. For users needing to recover from amphetamine or cocaine use, it is important to sleep, exercise, have good nutrition and allow time to feel well again.

It can be hard for some people to stop or reduce their drug use because of the withdrawal symptoms they experience. People may feel very down (depressed) for some time (sometimes up to 12 months) after stopping amphetamine or cocaine use [32703].  Additional mental health support may be required for people who feel depressed as there is a higher risk of relapse if the depression isn’t treated.

A recent study of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who used crystal methamphetamine (ice) found that historical trauma, social disadvantage and racism had a significant impact on the way Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people use ice, and seek treatment for their drug use [32152]. This study provided a number of recommendations for the treatment of ice dependence:

  • provide culturally sensitive, collaborative and family inclusive approaches to treatment
  • provide strategies to support families to stay in touch with relatives who use ice
  • treatment and interventions should be specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and run by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • create after-care services to support people who are returning home from jail or a treatment centre
  • use strategies that help people feel less shame about their ice use.

References

Key resources

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Artwork

Bush Potato Dreaming by Rene Dixon

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