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Review: Substance use disorders respond to psychosocial interventions

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How effective are psychosocial treatments for the management of cannabis, cocaine, opiate and polysubstance abuse and dependence?


Self-reported abstinence (maximum number days/weeks, mean percent of days abstinent during treatment, percentage of sample abstinent ⩾3 weeks during treatment, percentage of sample with post treatment abstinence), post-treatment score on the Addiction Severity Index, and toxicology (mean number and percent of negative screens during treatment, percent of sample demonstrating abstinence).



Systematic review with meta-analysis.

Data sources:

PsycINFO and MEDLINE (searched from date of inception to March 2005), and search of the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (first quarter of 2005).

Study selection and analysis:

All English-language RCTs of any individual psychosocial interventions for any substance abuse (excluding alcohol or nicotine abuse/dependence) compared to a control (eg, waiting list, treatment as usual). Trials had to include only participants aged ⩾18 years and be in a nonintensive outpatient setting with no more than three 2-hour sessions per week. Exclusions: trials reporting longer term but not immediate post-treatment follow-up; control …

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  • Competing interests: None.