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PITT RESEARCHERS TO STUDY AND TREAT COCAINE ADDICTS

 PITT RESEARCHERS TO STUDY AND TREAT COCAINE ADDICTS
 PITTSBURGH, May 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Approximately 4 to 6 million Americans abuse cocaine, while an estimated 1 million are addicts. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center is conducting a unique four-year study of treatment for adult cocaine abusers, it was announced today.
 Funded by an $1.8-million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the study will compare the effectiveness of various treatment approaches for patients suffering from cocaine dependence.
 "Despite the fact that cocaine remains a major social and medical problem, very few studies have examined the different psychotherapy treatments for cocaine abusers," said Michael E. Thase, M.D., associate professor of psychiatry at Pitt and medical and research director of the mood disorders program at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic.
 Cocaine is one of the most destructive and potent drugs of abuse. In addition to its devastating effects on family life, social relationships and work performance, cocaine abuse can lead to serious medical complications such as heart problems, brain seizures, high blood pressure and even personality changes.
 "Findings from the research will be used to improve current programs for cocaine abusers and provide a better match between individuals and psychosocial treatments," Thase said.
 In addition to receiving free drug counseling, education and detoxification, study participants will be randomly assigned to receive either traditional drug counseling, cognitive behavior therapy, which teaches coping skills and relapse prevention techniques, or supportive-expression therapy, which helps improve interpersonal relationships, occupational status and problematic attitudes. There will be an additional six-month period of follow-up sessions.
 Pitt is one of four sites in the country participating in the study. For more information about the program or to participate, please contact Judy Lis at 412-624-0222.
 -0- 5/11/92
 /EDITORS: Interviews with researchers can be arranged by calling Kathia Kennedy or Gloria Kreps at 412-624-2607./
 /CONTACT: Kathia Kennedy or Gloria Kreps of Health Sciences News Bureau, 412-624-2607, or fax, 412-624-3184/ CO: University of Pittsburgh Medical Center ST: Pennsylvania IN: HEA MTC SU:


DM -- PG005 -- 8550 05/11/92 10:59 EDT
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Date:May 11, 1992
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