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Clinically Relevant Characteristics Associated with Early Treatment Drug Use Versus Abstinence.

Addiction Science & Clinical Practice 2014;9:6. [doi: 10.1186/1940-0640-9-6]

Gerald Cochran, PhD (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, MA Node), Maxine L. Stitzer, PhD (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, MA Node), Edward V. Nunes, MD (Columbia University School of Medicine, GNY Node), Mei-Chen Hu, PhD (Columbia University School of Medicine, GNY Node), Aimee N. C. Campbell, PhD, MSW (Columbia University School of Medicine, GNY Node).

This study describes early treatment drug use status and associated clinical characteristics in a diverse sample of patients entering outpatient substance abuse psychosocial counseling treatment. The goal was to more fully characterize those entering treatment with and without active use of their primary drug in order to better understand associated treatment needs and resilience factors. Using baseline data from the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network (CTN) study CTN-0044 (Web-Delivery of Treatment for Substance Use, N=494), patients were categorized according to self-identified primary drug of abuse (alcohol, cocaine/stimulants, opioids, marijuana) and baseline drug use status (positive/negative) as measured by urine testing or self-report (alcohol). Characteristics were examined by primary drug and early use status.

Classified as drug-negative were 84%, 76%, 62%, and 33% of primary opioid, stimulant, alcohol, and marijuana users, respectively. Drug-positive versus -negative patients did not differ on demographics or rates of substance abuse/dependence diagnoses. However, those negative for active use had better physical and mental health profile, were less likely to be using a secondary drug, and were more likely to be attending 12-step self-help meetings.

Conclusions: Early treatment drug abstinence is common among substance users entering outpatient psychosocial counseling programs, regardless of primary abused drug. Abstinence is associated with better physical and mental health profiles, less secondary drug use, and more days of 12-step attendance. These findings provide important information for clinicians looking to better understand the health issues and substance use profiles among patients seeking treatment, and suggest that individual behavioral differences at treatment start can help inform treatment planning. (Article (Peer-Reviewed), PDF, English, 2014)

Keywords: Alcohol | Baseline data | Behavior therapy | Cocaine | CTN platform/ancillary study | Heroin | Internet counseling | Marijuana | Prescription-type opiates | Stimulant abuse | Therapeutic Education System (TES) | Twelve-step programs | Addiction Science & Clinical Practice (journal)

Document No: 1055, PMID: 24708748, PMCID: PMC4234981.

Submitted by CTN Dissemination Librarians, 4/7/2014.


Campbell, Aimee N. C. search mail
Cochran, Gerald search mail
Hu, Mei-Chen search
Nunes, Edward V. search mail
Stitzer, Maxine L. search mail
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