Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Drugs, depression and CBT

Many people with alcohol and/or substance abuse problems also suffer from depression. Unfortunately people who suffer from depression have poorer treatment outcomes whether the treatment targets their drug/alcohol problems or their depression. Integrated treatments - which address both the depression and the drug abuse at the same time - may be more effective but little research has been done on this so far. A U.S. study of 66 people compared the effectiveness of an integrated Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (ICBT) programme to a 12-step programme similar to that used by Alcoholics Anonymous. The researchers found both ICBT and 12-step effective at the time of treatment but depression increased again in 12-step patients six months after treatment. At the time of treatment 12-step produced a greater decline in drug use but after six months those in the ICBT group were faring better.

Brown, Sandra A. ... [et al] - Integrated cognitive behavioural therapy versus twelve-step facilitation therapy for substance-dependent adults with depressive disorders Journal of Psychoactive Drugs December 2006, 38(4), 449-460

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