College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Natural Recovery from Cocaine Dependence

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-1999

Publication Title

Psychology of Addictive Behaviors

ISSN

0893-164X

Volume

13

Issue/No.

4

Abstract

Studies of natural recoveries from alcohol, heroin, and cocaine abuse have indicated that many individuals are able to change their drug or alcohol use when the benefits of using the drug are outweighed by the negatives. The present study investigated the recovery process using 50 abstinent (≥ year) untreated former cocaine users and 21 untreated and nonrecovered cocaine users. The recovered group did not differ from the untreated, active cocaine users in terms of demographic variables, lifetime substance use history, psychiatric history, or cocaine-related consequences. Recovery was most frequently related to a cognitive evaluation of the pros and cons of continued cocaine use. Discrete life events triggering cessation were less frequently reported by the recovered respondents. Implications of this research for the treatment of cocaine dependence are discussed.

DOI

10.1037//0893-164X.13.4.259