EMCDDA webinar: Responding to stimulant use — developments in treatment


Objective: To better understand current developments in the treatment of stimulant use.

Background: Stimulant drugs are second only to cannabis as the most widely used class of illicit drug globally, accounting for 68 million past-year consumers. In Europe, according to the latest data of the EMCDDA’s European Drug Report 2022, surveys in 25 EU countries between 2016 and 2021 suggest that 1.4 million young adults (15–34) used amphetamines during the last year (1.4 % of this age group). More than 8 000 clients entering specialised drug treatment in Europe in 2020 reported amphetamine as their primary drug. About 3 700 of them were first-time clients. In addition, there are signals that availability and use of methamphetamine appears to be increasing.

Until now, pharmacotherapy has not yielded convincing results for the treatment of problems related to the use of amphetamine and methamphetamine. However, there are promising results from agonist therapies (also known as substitution treatment) for stimulants and there are interesting new studies underway.

In this webinar, we will begin our conversation with updates on the scientific research, discussing the results of the latest systematic reviews and also highlighting ongoing European studies. We will then bridge the gap between research and practice, learning from the experience of treating methamphetamine-related problems with prescription stimulants as well as identifying key policy and practice questions. 

In conversation with:

  • Vitor Tardelli, M.D., psychiatrist, clinical fellow at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), University of Toronto, Canada and researcher at Universidade Federal de São Paulo (Unifesp), Brazil

  • Lars Thore Fadnes, Project leader ‘ATLAS4dependence’, University of Bergen, Norway

  • Roman Gabrhelík, Head of Research and Development, Department of Addictology (Addiction Medicine), First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Czechia

  • Joan Ramon Villalbí, Government Delegate for the National Plan on Drugs, Ministry of Health, Spain

Chairperson: Iciar Indave, EMCDDA

Opening and closing remarks: Marica Ferri, EMCDDA

Format: EMCDDA opening remarks, panellists’ questions, guided discussion, Q&A 

Participants will respond to the following questions:

  1. What do systematic reviews say about the current evidence on the treatment of stimulant use?

  2. What are the current ongoing studies? News from ‘ATLAS4dependence’, Norwegian Randomised Control Trial (RCT)

  3. How are people with methamphetamine-related problems currently being treated? What are the open questions?

  4. Bridging the research – policy and practice gap: clinical guidance and recommendations, the Spanish experience

Length: 1.5 hours

Participants: The webinar is open to all upon registration, after which the person will receive a link to connect.

Date: 22 March, 12.00-13.30 Lisbon time (WET)

Platform: Zoom