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Drug Counseling for Cocaine Addiction: The Collaborative Cocaine Treatment Study Model

NCJ Number
Dennis C. Daley Ph.D.; Delinda Mercer Ph.D.; Gloria Carpenter M.Ed.
Date Published
September 2002
124 pages
Part of a series of "Therapy Manuals for Drug Addiction," this manual describes the Group Drug Counseling (GDC) used in a psychosocial treatment for drug addiction in a multisite clinical trial called the Collaborative Cocaine Treatment Study (CCTS).
The study was conducted at five sites, all of which randomly assigned cocaine dependent clients to one of four treatment conditions: individual drug counseling (IDC) with GDC, individual supportive-expressive psychotherapy (SEP) with GDC, individual cognitive therapy (CT) with GDC, and GDC alone. All study therapists participated in intensive training and ongoing supervision during the course of the pilot study and the main clinical trial, and their work was taped and independently rated to ensure that they adhered to the specific model of treatment they were using. IDC, SEP, and CT involved 6 months of active treatment. During the first 3 months of treatment, counselors provided clients individual sessions twice a week. During months four through six, counselors offered clients individual treatment sessions once a week. Clients were offered monthly booster sessions during months seven through nine. Clients could select 39 individual therapy sessions while they participated in the treatment protocol. In addition, all clients assigned to the 3 individual treatment groups were offered GDC sessions weekly for 24 sessions: 12 weekly sessions in a structured psychoeducational group and 12 weekly sessions in an unstructured problem solving group. Thus, clients assigned to any of the 3 individual treatments could attend up to 63 individual and group sessions during the study. One of every four clients was randomly assigned to GDC alone, and short case-management sessions were available to them as needed. These clients primarily participated in group sessions and were offered 24 sessions during a 6-month period, followed by monthly individual case-management sessions during months seven through nine. The philosophy of the GDC approach is that cocaine addiction and other chemical addictions are complex biopsychosocial diseases that are often chronic and debilitating. Many biological, psychological, sociocultural, and spiritual factors interact to contribute to the development and maintenance of cocaine and other types of substance addictions. The GDC model strongly encourages participation in 12-step self-help recovery programs such as Cocaine Anonymous. In addition to describing the details of the treatment techniques, this manual describes the stabilization procedure, case management, and family involvement. Although the research study found that all treatments helped patients improve, the combination of IDC and GDC produced the best results. The manual advises that even with limited sessions, an IDC plus GDC treatment model can be effective. 65 references, 6 appendices