Randomized controlled trial of brief cognitive-behavioural interventions among regular users of amphetamine

Addiction. 2001 Sep;96(9):1279-87. doi: 10.1046/j.1360-0443.2001.96912797.x.


Aims: To identify whether brief cognitive-behavioural interventions are feasible among regular users of amphetamine, to assess the effectiveness of intervention overall and to pilot two- and four-session interventions.

Design: Subjects were assigned randomly to individually receive a cognitive-behavioural intervention (n = 32) of either two or four sessions' duration or a self-help booklet (control condition; n = 32).

Setting: Subjects were volunteers recruited from needle exchange schemes and treatment centres in Newcastle, Australia.

Participants: Regular (at least monthly) users of amphetamine were recruited.

Intervention: Either four sessions of cognitive-behaviour therapy, consisting of a motivational interview and skills training in avoidance of high-risk situations, coping with craving and relapse prevention, or two sessions consisting of a motivational interview and discussion of skills.

Measurements: The Opiate Treatment Index was the main measure at pre-treatment and 6-month follow-up.

Findings: There was a significant reduction in amphetamine use among the sample as a whole, with inconclusive differences between intervention subgroups. There was a moderate overall intervention effect, with the intervention group reporting over twice the reduction in daily amphetamine use as the control group. Significantly more people in the cognitive-behavioural intervention condition abstained from amphetamine at 6-month follow-up compared to the control condition.

Conclusion: Brief cognitive-behavioural interventions appear feasible among regular users of amphetamine. A larger randomised controlled trial of the effectiveness of such interventions appears warranted.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amphetamine-Related Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • New South Wales
  • Patient Participation
  • Psychotherapy, Brief / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome