A type of problem-solving therapy called cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) may help treat depression in people within residential treatment programs for drug and alcohol abuse, a new study suggests. The therapy may also help reduce substance abuse.
HealthDay reports that many people who are struggling with both depression and substance abuse issues do not receive treatment for both conditions. The researchers note that few people entering substance abuse treatment have access to effective depression treatment.
The study included 299 people who suffered from depression who were being treated at behavioral health facilities for substance abuse. Every four months, the facilities alternated between providing usual care for substance abuse, and usual care plus cognitive behavioral therapy. In this type of therapy, people learn how to identify and change destructive or disturbing thought patterns that have a negative influence on behavior.
After three months, those receiving CBT and substance abuse treatment reported significantly fewer depressive symptoms and improved mental health functioning compared with those only receiving substance abuse treatment. After six months, CBT clients reported fewer drinking days and fewer days of problem substance use, the researchers report in the Archives of General Psychiatry.