Models of intervention and care for psychostimulant users, 2nd edition - monograph series no. 51

Chapter 9: Psychostimulants and young people

Page last updated: April 2004

Matt Stubbs1, Leanne Hides2, John Howard1 and Anthony Arcuri1

1 Ted Noffs Foundation, Sydney, New South Wales
2 Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne,Victoria

Key points:
  • The rate of psychostimulant use among young people in Australia is comparable to that in Southeast Asia, but higher than Europe, North America and Africa.

  • Injecting is the most popular route of administration of psychostimulants by young people.

  • Prevention and early intervention activities are considered to have a positive impact, but they have not been extensively evaluated.

  • Adult models of intervention have been applied to young people, but very few specific interventions have been studied among psychostimulant users.

  • There is evidence that some treatment is superior to no treatment in reducing substance use and improving functional outcomes, but there is insufficient evidence to compare the effectiveness of treatment types.

  • In the absence of well-controlled studies amongst psychostimulant users, a multi-component approach is recommended, including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Family Therapy.

  • A great deal more research is required into effective interventions for young people who use psychostimulants.