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Table 5 Summary of evidence-based opiate use group treatment for adults

From: A review of research-supported group treatments for drug use disorders

Study Patient Characteristicsa Treatment Description Manual Study Characteristicsb Results
Des Jarlais et al., 1992 [78] 104 individuals who were using heroin intranasally, without using more than 60 injections in past 2 years (questionnaire screening). Mean age 27 years, 31% female, 27% African American, 24% Hispanic. All participants received information about AIDS, and HIV antibody test counseling:
1. Social learning AIDS/drug injection treatment program (4 sessions, 60–90 min, over 2 weeks)
2. Control condition
1. Yes
2. No
RAWC; 8-month f/u. 80% f/u rate, tx completion rate not reported. Control participants reported higher rates of drug injection over f/u.
Rawson et al., 2001 [79] 81 recruited detoxified individuals meeting DSM-IV criteria for opioid dependence (diagnostic screening measure not reported). Mean age 33 years, 45% female, 80% Caucasian. 1. Standard treatment (ST; Naltrexone, with monthly medical monitoring visits).
2. Enhanced group (EN; Matrix Method; Naltrexone plus: Week 1–12 consists of 60 min individual sessions 1x week, 90 min. CBT group, and 60 min cue-exposure; Week 13–26 consist of individual session semi-weekly, and CBT group sessions, and Week 27–52 consist of 90 min social support group sessions).
1. No
2. Yes
RAWC; 6-, 12-month f/u. 84% f/u and 87% f/u at 6-month for ST and EN respectively. 74 and 79.5% f/u at 12-month for SN and EN respectively. Tx completion not reported EN group participants took more study medication,
were retained in treatment longer, used less opioids while in treatment and showed greater improvement on a number of psychological/affective dimensions. No significant group differences at 6- or 12-month f/u
Scherbaum et al., 2005 [80] 73 patients at methadone maintenance treatment with opiate addiction (SCID) and no severe psychiatric condition, psychosis, and organic brain syndrome, serious medical, legal, or social problems. Mean age 30 years, 27% female, 96% reported at least 1 parent of German origin. 6-months:
1. Local routine MMT
2. Routine MMT plus group CBT psychotherapy (MMT-CBT; 20 90-min sessions, 20 weeks)
1. No
2. Yes
RAWC; 6-month f/u. f/u rate not reported. 63% of MMT-CBT and 59% of MMT completed tx. MMT-CBT showed less drug use than MMT, statistically significant at post treatment and 6-month f/u.
Sees et al., 2000 [81] 179 recruited individuals with opioid dependence (DIS). Mean age 39 years, 47% female, 23% African American in DT, 31% African American in MMT, 15% Hispanic in DT, 8% Hispanic in MMT. 1. Methadone maintenance therapy (MMT; 2 h psychosocial therapy during 1st 6 months, up to 14 months followed by 2-month detoxification)
2. 180-day Methadone assisted detoxification (DT; 2 h of psychosocial group therapy per week, 14 weekly substance abuse education sessions, 1 h. of cocaine group therapy for 6 months, weekly individual therapy and 8 months of non-methadone aftercare sessions after 1st 6 months)
1. Yes
2. Yes
RAAT; 12-week f/u, 74% f/u rate, 86% tx completion rate. MMT resulted in greater treatment retention and less heroin use compared to DT. Cocaine was related to study dropout in MMT. MMT resulted in lower rate of drug related HIV risk behaviors and lower severity score for legal status. No differences between groups in employment, family functioning, alcohol use.
Shaffer et al. (1997) [22] 61 referred patients to a methadone maintenance clinic (screened via “standard assessment battery”), without physical or medical inability to participate in yoga. Mean age 36 years, 41% female, 82% Caucasian. 22 75-min sessions. All pts. received methadone treatment and individual therapy.
1. Psychodynamic group therapy
2. Hatha yoga group
1. Yes
2. Yes
RAAT; 6-month f/u. f/u rate not reported. 69% tx completion. Longer participation in treatment was associated with reduction in drug use and criminal activity. No difference on any measures between two treatments.
  1. aDSM criteria used unless otherwise noted. bRAAT Random Assignment to Active Treatment, RAWC Random Assignment with Control, PPWC Pre-Post with Comparison Group (matched or otherwise). Articles included in the review utilized interview diagnosed screening materials (i.e., SCID) to identify drug abuse or dependence. Articles included in this table utilized a control group