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This study examines the relationship between social, cognitive, and behavioral skills and later drug use for a sample of 106 residential drug treatment clients. The study addresses two questions: (a) Do both skills specific to dealing with drug and alcohol temptation and general social and coping skills predict drug use? (b) Does the Problem Situation Inventory (PSI), a role-play test designed to assess skills of illicit drug abusers, show evidence of criterion validity? Specific skills (drug and alcohol avoidance, relapse coping, consequential thinking) were significantly related to drug use measured 6 months later. General social, stress coping, and problem solving skills did not predict drug use in the total sample. Among those who relapsed to drug use, both specific and general skills predicted the length of subjects' abstinence. Only specific drug avoidance and consequential thinking skills predicted the severity of drug use. Implications of the results for assessment, treatment, and prevention are discussed.