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J Subst Abuse Treat. 2006 Apr;30(3):219-26.

A 12-year follow-up of a treated cocaine-dependent sample.

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Integrated Substance Abuse Programs, Semel Institute of Neuroscience and Human Behavior, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90025, USA.


The study examined long-term outcomes (mortality, substance use, mental health, employment, criminal involvement) among a cocaine-dependent sample. This 12-year follow-up study, conducted in 2002-2003, updates information obtained at intake and two face-to-face interviews conducted in 1990-1991 and 1991-1992 among 321 male cocaine-dependent veterans admitted to drug treatment in 1988-1989. At the 2002-2003 follow-up, 28 had died and 266 were interviewed. A mixed model examining the longitudinal relationships demonstrated that treatment was associated with lower levels of cocaine use over the 12-year follow-up period after entry into the index treatment and more stable recovery (i.e., continuously abstinent from cocaine for at least 5 years). Few measures at intake predicted stable recovery at follow-up: only being White (vs. being African American) and having greater confidence in ability to avoid cocaine use in high-risk situations. Individuals achieving stable recovery reported less psychiatric symptoms, criminal involvement, and unemployment during the year prior to the interview. Adverse outcomes were apparent for a significant number of cocaine-dependent users who continued to use cocaine for a long period.

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