New Cocaine Questionnaire Predicts Rehab Success

By Will Godfrey 01/23/12

The strength of addicts' initial beliefs about the positive effects of cocaine is key, say researchers.

Positive beliefs about cocaine's effects
can be bad news.
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Researchers have devised a new questionnaire that they claim can predict the likelihood of cocaine addicts' success in rehab. The psychological test—drafted by Professor of Psychology Dermot Barnes-Holmes, of the National University of Ireland, Maynooth—measures the strength of addicts' beliefs about the positive effects of cocaine prior to treatment. The more positive these beliefs, the less likely study participants to turn up for rehab, and the less likely their systems were to be cocaine-free in a later test. The questionnaire was trialed on 28 people in New York who'd been using cocaine for around 15 years. "Our system has far-reaching implications for the treatment of drug addiction," says Barnes-Holmes. Participants' beliefs about their substance abuse and the negative or positive consequences that follow, appear to have an impact on the success of their treatment—and these beliefs aren't currently being identified through standard drug abuse treatment."

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Will Godfrey is the former editor-in-chief of TheFix. He was also the founding editor-in-chief of, and previously co-founded a magazine for prisoners in London. His work has appeared in Salon, Pacific Standard, AlterNet and The Nation among others. He is currently the Executive Director at FILTER. You can find Will on Linkedin and Twitter.