Self-administering CBT via a computer training program helps as many people reduce their drug use as CBT delivered in person by a clinician, according to a clinical trial. In some cases, the results may even be better.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a relatively new tool in the toolbox of recovery options for substance use disorder. But as we’ve noted in previous posts, it already has a promising track record.
Most people who use CBT access this form of care with the help of a clinician, but that is not the only option. Computer-Based Training for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT4CBT (sorry, but the acronyms multiply quickly in this discussion), uses video and interactive, self-guided exercises to teach the skills associated with CBT.
Now we have data indicating that such an approach offers the same—and in some circumstances, even better—reductions in drug use as CBT delivered in a clinician’s office. The study looked at 137 people with uncontrolled use of opioids, alcohol, marijuana, or cocaine. Participants were not entirely on their own—they stopped in for 10-minute check-ins with a clinician once a week—but the actual CBT training was self-directed.
In a time when access to sustained clinical care is difficult for many, these findings suggest a way to ease the burden on caregivers. This in turn could open the doors to CBT for a much larger number of those struggling with substance use.
You can read all the details of this promising study here: