MONDAY, June 6 (HealthDay News) -- A new study suggests that
cognitive behavioral therapy -- a type of therapy oriented toward
problem-solving -- may help the depressed in residential treatment
programs for drug and alcohol abuse.
Many people with substance disorders and depression fail to
receive treatment for both conditions. "The consequences of this
unmet need are great," the study authors write. "The interactive
nature of the two disorders leads to poorer depression and
substance abuse treatment outcomes compared with the outcomes when
only one disorder is present."
Researchers led by Dr. Katherine E. Watkins of the RAND Corp.
studied patients at behavioral health services facilities in Los
Angeles between 2006 and 2009. Every four months, the facilities
alternated between providing regular care for substance abuse and
care plus cognitive behavioral therapy, which aims to change
dysfunctional behaviors through changing the way people think about
About 300 patients took part; most, on average, were severely
After three months, nearly 56 percent of those in the group with
extra treatment had minimal symptoms of depression, compared to
only about a third in the group that got regular care; at six
months, those numbers were nearly 64 percent vs. 44 percent.
Among patients no longer living in a residential treatment
facility, those in the group with added cognitive-behavioral
therapy had fewer days of drug abuse and fewer drinking days than
did those in the control group.
The study appears in the June issue of the
Archives of General Psychiatry.
For more on depression, try the
U.S. National Library of Medicine.