Stimulants: epidemiology and impact on mental health

by Professor Fabrizio Schifano and Dr Antonio Albanese


Last updated: February 2019


In the second half of the 1990s, a global trend of escalating stimulant misuse (such as cocaine, amphetamine, methamphetamine, methylenedioxymethamphetamine/ MDMA and MDMA-like drugs, cathinone derivatives, and benzylpiperazine/BZP) was observed across a number of EU countries.


When reorganising statutory and non-statutory services to cope with this increasingly widespread clinical issue, the epidemiological approach is of paramount importance, and a clear appreciation of the levels of stimulant misuse is necessary in order to allocate the appropriate levels of resources.


Stimulant misuse is typically associated with an imbalance of neurotransmitters, especially dopamine. Therefore, practising psychiatrists need to be aware of the psychopathological consequences related to substance misuse in order to refine their own diagnostic and clinical management skills.


Start the module



If you like this module, you may also be interested in:


Stimulants: treatment approaches and organising services by Prof Fabrizio Schifano and Dr Antonio Albanese


Alcohol-related brain damage by Prof Kenneth Wilson, Dr Joy Bell and Dr Vanessa Craig


Buprenorphine in opioid dependence by Dr Lucinda M. Cockayne and Ms Elizabeth Hutchings


Helping the addicted doctor by Dr Elizabeth Hare and Dr Malcolm Bruce


Drug Misuse: Psychosocial Interventions - The NICE Guideline (book from RCPsych publications)



BJPsych Advances: related articles for CPD Online



Related Advances articles


Download take-home notes to print and annotateDownload take-home notes to print and annotate


© 2021 Royal College of Psychiatrists