Integrating systemic cue exposure with standard treatment in recovering drug dependent patients

Addict Behav. 1990;15(4):355-65. doi: 10.1016/0306-4603(90)90045-y.


Repeated drug administration readily produces classically conditioned responses in animal and human experimental studies. The majority of patients applying for treatment of drug dependence show both autonomic and subjective responses when exposed to drug-related stimuli. These responses are presumed to have been conditioned during a period of active drug use, persist after traditional treatment for drug dependence, and may constitute one of several factors which predispose to relapse. Preliminary data are presented from a novel treatment approach which is designed to test whether drug-conditioned responses can be reduced or extinguished by systematic exposure to drug-related cues and whether such extinction improves the overall results of treatment.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arousal
  • Behavior Therapy / methods*
  • Cocaine*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Conditioning, Classical
  • Cues*
  • Extinction, Psychological
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Pilot Projects
  • Recurrence
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / rehabilitation*


  • Cocaine