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Behavioral therapies plus pharmacotherapies can add up to success

method that works for well for one person might not work as well for another person. Many treatment programs currently use some form of coping skills training, and to a lesser degree communication skills training, however, the cue exposure treatment approach is not currently used in the United States.

O'Malley said one reason for hesitation might be the very novel approach of some CET components. "Specifically," she said, "one component of the CET involved having the person pour a glass of their most frequently consumed alcoholic beverage and then think about the aspects of the beverage that increased their urge to drink.

They were then taught a new coping strategy for dealing with this urge. While this is probably a very powerful method, I suspect few programs, except the most innovative, use this technique at present. Other components, however, have some parallels to interventions already incorporated into some programs. Specifically, the person was asked to imagine a situation in which they had felt like drinking in their past, and to use one of the tools that they had learned to help 'bring down' their urge to drink. This approach could be readily implemented in most programs."

"These results provide additional evidence that naltrexone can have a beneficial effect in reducing the severity of relapses among alcoholics who continue to take it," said Monti.

"The results also provide evidence that even four or five sessions of coping skills training, when part of intensive alcohol treatment, can have lasting benefits for preventing relapse and reducing relapse severity. "The success of training alcoholics to use a variety of skills suggested by social learning theory warrants further study to find ways to improve outcomes even more. In particular, it would be useful to know more about which skills are more useful to teach, and which are less useful to patients. Clearly, the skills training approach is one of the more beneficial
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14-Nov-2001


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