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Exp Clin Psychopharmacol. 2008 Aug;16(4):275-81. doi: 10.1037/a0012787.

Cocaine abusers with and without alcohol dependence respond equally well to contingency management treatments.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Connecticut Health Center, 263 Farmington Avenue, Farmington, CT 06033, USA.


Contingency management (CM) treatments are efficacious in treating cocaine abuse. Despite high prevalence rates of alcohol dependence (AD) among individuals with cocaine use disorders, relatively little data are available regarding whether comorbid AD is associated with poorer treatment outcomes in general, or in response to CM in particular. Using data from 3 randomized trials of CM for cocaine abuse, we compared cocaine abusers (N = 393) with and without AD in terms of abstinence and psychosocial problems during treatment and follow-up. Alcohol dependent participants had more lifetime years of cocaine and alcohol use and greater severity of alcohol and psychiatric problems. CM was positively and significantly associated with longer durations of abstinence, regardless of AD status. Although not significantly associated with abstinence, the presence of AD was related to improvement in medical and alcohol-related problems during treatment, and these gains were maintained posttreatment. The results suggest that cocaine abusers benefit equally well from CM treatments, regardless of AD status. Further, alcohol dependent participants are able to offset greater baseline severity in psychosocial functioning and maintain these improvements with CM.

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