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Drug Alcohol Depend. 2005 May 9;78(2):211-9.

Urge-specific and lifestyle coping strategies of cocaine abusers: relationships to treatment outcomes.

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  • 1Providence Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Providence, RI, USA.


This study investigated specific coping techniques for effectiveness in reducing cocaine use after treatment. The urge-specific strategies questionnaire-cocaine (USS-C) assessed frequency of use of 21 strategies for coping with urges. The general change strategies questionnaire-cocaine (GCS-C) assessed frequency of use of 21 lifestyle change strategies designed to maintain abstinence. Cocaine-dependent patients were assessed at follow-up after residential treatment for USS-C (n=59 at 3 months, 84 at 6 months), GCS-C (n=89 at 3 months, 120 at 6 months) and substance use. Less cocaine use was associated with urge coping by thinking about negative or positive consequences, alternative behaviors, distraction, relaxation/meditation, escape, offer refusal, spiritual methods, behavior chains, mastery messages, problem-solving, meeting or sponsor, or seeking social support. The lifestyle change strategies of thinking about consequences, working toward goals, thinking of oneself as sober, clean recreation, regular relaxation, avoiding temptations, not carrying much money, living with clean people, seeking social support, spiritual involvement, keeping busy, and health activities were also associated with less cocaine use. Results suggest focusing coping skills training on these potentially effective strategies.

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