Baseline cocaine demand predicts contingency management treatment outcomes for cocaine-use disorder

Psychol Addict Behav. 2020 Feb;34(1):164-174. doi: 10.1037/adb0000475. Epub 2019 Jun 24.


Cocaine use disorder (CUD) is a significant public health issue. Behavioral interventions such as contingency management (CM) have been demonstrated to be highly effective in promoting cocaine abstinence. However, identifying individual characteristics associated with cocaine relapse may help improve treatment outcomes. Cocaine demand is a behavioral economic measure that shares a scientific foundation with CM. In the current study, we assessed baseline cocaine demand using a hypothetical cocaine purchasing task. Participants (N = 58) consisted of treatment-seeking individuals with CUD. All participants received 1 month of CM treatment for cocaine abstinence, and treatment responders were defined as presenting 6 consecutive cocaine negative urine samples from thrice weekly clinic visits. Demand data were well described by the exponentiated demand model. Indices of demand (intensity of demand [Q₀], elasticity [α]) were significantly associated with recent (last 30 days) cocaine use. Importantly, linear regression revealed that CM treatment nonresponders presented significantly higher Q₀ (p = .025). Subsequent quantile regression analyses examining the relationship between CM treatment response and Q₀ revealed statistically reliable effects of being a nonresponder across 3 of the lower percentiles (i.e., 15, 25, and 30). Overall, these findings provide further support for the utility of exponentiated demand model. To our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate an association between baseline demand and contingency management response and systematically extend the findings of prior demand research to a novel drug class, cocaine. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).

Trial registration: NCT02896712.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Behavior Therapy / methods*
  • Cocaine
  • Cocaine Smoking / psychology
  • Cocaine Smoking / therapy*
  • Cocaine-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Cocaine-Related Disorders / therapy*
  • Crack Cocaine
  • Economics, Behavioral
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Crack Cocaine
  • Cocaine

Associated data