Psychotherapy for Cocaine Addiction

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Cocaine abuse continues to be a major public health problem. Drug abuse researchers and practitioners have developed theoretically diverse cocaine-specific psychological treatments, including behavioral and cognitive–behavioral therapies, psychodynamic therapies, and integrative outpatient programs. In 1991, a major literature review identified several promising approaches, but there was little empirical evidence for their efficacy (R. A. Rawson J. L. Obert, M. J. McCann, F. G. Castro, & W. Ling, 1991). Since then, outpatient psychotherapies for cocaine addiction have increasingly been empirically evaluated. This article summarizes prominent current approaches, with emphasis on empirical studies that have appeared since the Rawson et al. (1991) review, and evaluates progress in the field. Studies of treatment retention and the effect of comorbid psychopathology on treatment response are reviewed, and directions for future research are proposed.

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