Behavior Therapy for Depression in Drug Dependence (BTDD)

Results of a Stage Ia Therapy Development Pilot

Published in: The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, v. 32, no. 4, Dec. 2006, p. 541-548

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 2005

by Kenneth M. Carpenter, Efrat Aharonovich, Jennifer L. Smith, Martin Y. Iguchi, Edward V. Nunes

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Limited access to positive reinforcers is a central feature in behavioral formulations of substance use and depression, and evidence suggests both disorders share similar environmental contexts. The Behavioral Therapy for Depression in Drug Dependence (BTDD) was developed to target the density of potential reinforcers in a patient's environment to reduce both depression and illicit substance use using therapeutic techniques from three operant based treatment programs, Community Reinforcement Approach, Changing Reinforcement Events, and Treatment-plan Contingency Management. Results of an uncontrolled Stage Ia trial (n = 29), indicated 48% of the participants demonstrated at least a 50% reduction in baseline depression scores during the 16-session treatment program. Those designated as treatment responders completed more out-of-session behavioral activities, attended more treatment sessions, and demonstrated less benzodiazepine use during the program than non-responders. There were no changes in opiate and cocaine use. BTDD may be a useful adjunct to methadone maintenance for treating comorbid depressive disorders.

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