DIAGNOSIS: Substance-Use Disorders

TREATMENT: Group Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Cocaine Use Disorder


  • Basic premise: Cognitive-behavioral strategies are based on the theory that in the development of maladaptive behavioral patterns like substance abuse, learning processes play a critical role. Individuals in CBT learn to identify and correct problematic behaviors by applying a range of different skills that can be used to stop drug abuse and to address a range of other problems that often co-occur with it. CBT has shown particular benefit for relapse prevention. CBT focuses on reducing or avoiding drug craving. Patients are taught to recognize the situations or states associated with prior drug use that provoke drug craving and to avoid these situations whenever possible. Patients are also taught a variety of coping skills to use when cocaine craving occurs, such as distraction, recall of negative consequences, and positive thought substitution. The continuing positive effects of CBT during the follow-up phase was attributed to the continued application of coping skills taught to the patients during the active phase of treatment.


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