PDResources

Reducing Substance Use by Reducing DepressionPeople who have problems with substance misuse often have other mental health challenges. Depression is a commonly co-occurring psychological condition among individuals with substance use problems. Although it has yet to be determined if substance use precedes depressive reoccurrence or depressive symptoms precede substance relapse, it is well known that these co-occurring conditions (COD) are more treatment resistant and result in poorer outcomes than having one condition alone. Research suggests that cognitive behavioral therapy is an effective approach for reducing depressive symptoms. Therefore, Sarah B. Hunter of the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, California, theorized that addressing depressive symptoms as part of a substance use treatment plan could minimize negative moods, which would reduce the need for negative coping strategies such as substance use.

Hunter and her colleagues administered 16 sessions of group cognitive behavioral therapy for depression (GCBT-D) to 140 individuals being treated at an inpatient facility for

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