University of Vermont


Cocaine Treatment

Treatment Program

Increasing cocaine abstinence is the primary goal of the SATC's treatment program for cocaine abusers. The SATC's program is supported by twelve years of empirical research. Clients visit the clinic two to three times a week to receive behaviorally-oriented treatment for their dependence. To stop using drugs and alcohol, people must have something equally powerful to look forward to that will fill their time. For this reason, the treatment program focuses on increasing clients' satisfaction with things in their lives that have nothing to do with drugs or alcohol. Each client works with a therapist to create a treatment plan that initiates major lifestyle changes in four areas:

  • Family relationships: Therapists may offer relationship and/or family counseling as well as suggestions on how to improve family life.
  • Recreational activities: Through treatment, clients have the opportunity to explore their interests as they shift their lifestyles toward enjoyable activities that don't involve cocaine.
  • Social networks: Therapists encourage clients to build a network of "clean" friends with whom they can socialize while avoiding individuals and environments that may tempt them to use.
  • Vocation:  Therapists and Research Assistants help clients create resumes and perform job searches.  In addition, the clinic assists in providing transportation to job interviews and employment agencies.

The treatment program offers clients prompt reinforcement when they test "clean" for cocaine as well as additional motivation to abstain. In each therapy session, the therapist works with the client to evaluate specific goals, initiate plans of action, and build behavioral skills that are instrumental in maintaining abstinence. Outpatient behavioral treatment can last more than a year.

Other Drug Abuse

Clients learn that the most direct and surest way to increase their success in dealing with cocaine problems is to aim for abstinence from other drugs, including alcohol.  Therapists collaborate with clients to set goals for abstinence from other drugs that may be contributing to cocaine problems.  First and foremost, however, clients receive treatment for cocaine dependence, the problem for which they initially came to the SATC.

For more information about cocaine dependence, please consult the resources on our links page.  In addition, the treatment manual, A Community Reinforcement Approach: Treating Cocaine Addiction is available online at We encourage individuals interested in the UVM SATC's cocaine treatment program to contact us

Last modified February 01 2007 03:55 PM

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