Attention A T users. To access the menus on this page please perform the following steps. 1. Please switch auto forms mode to off. 2. Hit enter to expand a main menu option (Health, Benefits, etc). 3. To enter and activate the submenu links, hit the down arrow. You will now be able to tab or arrow up or down through the submenu options to access/activate the submenu links.

Mental Health

Quick Links
Veterans Crisis Line Badge
My healthevet badge

Substance Use: Stimulant Use Disorder

older woman hugging younger woman

Substance Use

Are you concerned about yourself or about a Veteran in a substance use-related crisis?

If you see someone showing symptoms of overdose or who is in immediate danger, dial 911.

If you're worried that you or a loved one is at risk of overdosing, it's important that you talk to a specialist right away. The following resources offer free, confidential support, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 

  • Veterans Crisis Line
  • The SAMHSA National Helpline offers confidential, free help from public health agencies that can point you to substance use treatment and information.

Stimulant Use Disorder

Stimulant use disorder is the continued use of stimulants despite harm to the user. Stimulants include cocaine, amphetamine, methamphetamine, MDMA (also known as ecstasy or molly), and prescription drugs such as Adderall and Ritalin.

In recent years, the rate of fatal overdose when using stimulants has increased, with more than half the deaths related to illicit stimulants like cocaine and methamphetamine involving fentanyl or other opioids.

Misuse of stimulants can cause users to experience the following side effects:

  • Elevated heart rate
  • Dilated pupils
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Sweating or chills
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Chest pain

Stimulant misuse can lead to:

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Severe weight loss or dental problems
  • Violent behavior and psychosis
  • Paranoia, anxiety, and confusion
  • Loss of productivity at work
  • Overdose
  • Premature death

While there are no medications approved specifically for stimulant use disorder, VA offers proven, evidence-based treatments to treat Veterans diagnosed with stimulant use disorder. These include contingency management and cognitive behavioral therapy for substance use disorders.

Veterans using nonprescribed stimulants should also talk to their health care provider about having naloxone, a medication designed to rapidly reverse an opioid overdose, on hand.

Explore more treatment options at VA on the Learn About Treatment page.

Seek Care at VA

Stimulant use disorder can be successfully treated:

  • Talk to your VA provider and learn more about the highly effective treatment options available.
  • Learn about VA programs that can help treat drug and alcohol use disorders.
  • Find information for providers.

Newsletter Sign Up

Receive monthly emails about the latest mental health and suicide prevention resources and research from VA.

Help for Homeless Veterans: 877-4AID-VET
 VA Health Care: Apply Now
Caregiver Support: 855-260-3274
eBenefits: My Gateway to Benefit Information
Find out if you’re eligible: Health Benefits Explorer
Veterans Health Benefits Guide
Veterans Health Library
Women Veterans Call Center: 1-855-VA-WOMEN