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J Subst Abuse Treat. 1999 Jan;16(1):81-5.

Cue reactivity and effects of cue exposure in abstinent posttreatment drug users.

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Research Department of Psychiatric Centre Bloemendaal, The Hague, The Netherlands.


After 12 months of inpatient treatment, 16 opiate-addicted patients were exposed to drug-related stimuli. The results of this study indicate that cue reactivity in opiate-addicted subjects is still present after 12 months of intensive inpatient treatment. After exposing subjects to drug-related stimuli, there is an increase in craving, feelings of depression, and anger. Because posttreatment subjects are likely to be confronted with these stimuli following discharge, a reduction of this reactivity is desirable. In the present study, cue reactivity (feelings of depression, anger, tension, craving, and physical symptoms) reduced after protocolized cue exposure treatment. This effect maintained for at least 6 weeks after the last cue exposure session.

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