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NIDA. (1998, April 2). A Cognitive-Behavioral Approach: Treating Cocaine Addiction. Retrieved from

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Cognitive-behavioral coping skills treatment (CBT) is a short-term, focused approach to helping cocaine-dependent individuals become abstinent from cocaine and other substances. 

NIH Pub Number: 
National Institute on Drug Abuse
April 1998
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More than 20 years of research has shown that addiction is clearly treatable. Addiction treatment has been effective in reducing drug use and HIV infection, diminishing the health and social costs that result from addiction, and decreasing criminal behavior. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), which supports more than 85 percent of the world's research on drug abuse and addiction, has found that the most effective treatment approaches include both biological and behavioral components.

To ensure that treatment providers apply the most current science-based approaches to their patients, NIDA has supported the development of the "Therapy Manuals for Drug Addiction" series. This series reflects NIDA's commitment to rapidly applying basic findings in real-life settings. The manuals are derived from those used efficaciously in NIDA-supported drug abuse treatment studies. They are intended for use by drug abuse treatment practitioners, mental health professionals, and all others concerned with the treatment of drug addiction.

The manuals present clear, helpful information to aid drug treatment practitioners in providing the best possible care that science has to offer. They describe scientifically supported therapies for addiction and give specific guidance on session content and how to implement these techniques. Of course, there is no substitute for training and supervision, and these manuals may not be applicable to all types of patients nor compatible with all clinical programs or treatment approaches. These manuals should be viewed as a supplement to, but not a replacement for, careful assessment of each patient, appropriate case formulation, ongoing monitoring of clinical status, and clinical judgment.

The therapies presented in this series exemplify the best of what we currently know about treating drug addiction. As our knowledge evolves, new and improved therapies are certain to emerge. We look forward to continuously bringing you the latest scientific findings through manuals and other science-based publications. We welcome your feedback about the usefulness of this manual series and any ideas you have on how it might be improved.

Alan I. Leshner
National Institute on Drug Abuse

Download A Cognitive-Behavioral Approach: Treating Cocaine Addiction (PDF, 992KB)