Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms and Initial Urine Toxicology Results Predict Treatment Attrition in Outpatient Cocaine Dependence Treatment


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Abstract

This study evaluated the ability of cocaine withdrawal symptoms, measured by the Cocaine Selective Severity Assessment (CSSA) and initial urine toxicology results, to predict treatment attrition among 128 cocaine dependent veterans participating in a 4-week day hospital treatment program. The CSSA was administered and a urine toxicology screen was obtained at intake and at the start of the day hospital (about 1 week later). The combination of a positive urine toxicology screen and a high CSSA score at intake predicted failure to complete treatment. Urine toxicology results at the start of the day hospital, but not at intake, predicted failure to complete treatment. Among participants without other psychiatric illness, high CSSA scores at intake predicted failure to complete treatment. The presence of cocaine withdrawal symptoms and a positive urine toxicology screen are clinically useful predictors of treatment attrition.

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