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February 27, 2002

Therapy for Cocaine Addiction

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2002;287(8):988. doi:10.1001/jama.287.8.983

In his Clinical Crossroads article about a patient who is addicted to cocaine, Dr Hyman1 states: "For such a patient, exploratory or insight-oriented therapies should be avoided. There is substantial risk that such therapies will only provide additional rationales for his addiction." Hyman offers no reference to support this statement and, indeed, I am not aware of any evidence that would support this conclusion. By contrast, my colleagues and I have some experience treating addictions with insight therapy.2,3 I also know that I could personally never reach the conclusions about this particular patient from the very limited history offered in this case presentation.