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Experimental Test of a Craving Management Technique for Adolescents in Substance-Abuse Treatment

NCJ Number
Journal of Youth and Adolescence Volume: 37 Issue: 10 Dated: November 2008 Pages: 1205-1215
Paul Florsheim; Sarah Heavin; Stephen Tiffany; Peter Colvin; Regina Hiraoka
Date Published
November 2008
11 pages
This study examined the use of imagery techniques to manage drug cravings in adolescents.
Results of this work indicate that following exposure to imagery-based drug cues, the “interpersonal distracter” condition effectively interrupted craving, compared to the control condition. The “interpersonal help condition” did not attenuate participant’s craving response relative to the control condition. Participants in the study were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: an “interpersonal help” craving reduction condition; an “interpersonal distracter” craving reduction condition; and a control condition in which craving was stimulated and allowed to attenuate naturally, without intervention. This study describes an experiment designed to test an imagery-based craving management technique with a sample of adolescents diagnosed with substance-use disorders. The experimental procedure involved stimulating craving using a previously tested imagery technique and then administering a newly developed procedure for reducing craving. It is also noted that this study illustrates how experimental methods can be used to test and refine the efficacy of clinical interventions. Data were derived from a sample of 70 adolescents between the ages of 14 and 18 (41 males) who were recruited through 2 substance-abuse treatment programs. Tables, figure, and references