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June 1999

We've Come a Long Way: Comments on Cocaine Treatment Outcome Research

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1999;56(6):516-518. doi:10-1001/pubs.Arch Gen Psychiatry-ISSN-0003-990x-56-6-ycm9084

WHEN cocaine abuse in the United States reached epidemic proportions in the early 1980s, the scientific and clinical communities were unprepared.1,2 Understanding of the basic pharmacology underlying cocaine's abuse liability was limited, and information on effective clinical management of cocaine-dependent patients was virtually nonexistent. This has changed dramatically owing to an explosion of scientific activity, the scope of which may be unprecedented in the field of drug-abuse research.3 Substantial advances in basic and clinical science have been made in understanding cocaine abuse,4,5 and additional promising research findings appear in this issue of the ARCHIVES. The report by Simpson et al6 provides an impressive evaluation of treatment outcomes among a relatively large sample of cocaine-dependent patients treated in community clinics as part of the national Drug Abuse Treatment Outcome Study (DATOS).

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