Preliminary evidence of good treatment response in antisocial drug abusers

Robert K. Brooner, Michael Kidorf, Van L. King, Kenneth Stoller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Antisocial personality disorder (APD) is a chronic debilitating condition strongly associated with the development and maintenance of severe drug and alcohol use disorder. The overlap of these problems is associated with high rates of personal and social suffering. Available literature consistently point to this as a population in need of effective clinical services. The present study reports preliminary data from a controlled clinical trial aimed at improving the treatment outcomes of antisocial drug abusers using an intensive behavioral approach relying upon a highly structured contingency management intervention. Drug abusers in methadone substitution therapy (n = 40) were assessed for APD and other psychiatric and substance use problems. Patients were randomly assigned to an experimental (n = 20) or control (n = 20) condition following stratification on demographic and selected clinical variables (baseline drug use, evidence of other non-substance use psychiatric diagnoses). Treatment outcome data are presented for the first 17 weeks of participation in the study (4 weeks baseline and 13 weeks randomized treatment), including results of weekly urine drug testing and monthly self-reports of drug use and other psychosocial problems. Patients in both study conditions attained generally good outcomes. These early results suggest that antisocial drug abusers can respond positively to drug abuse treatments with a behavioral focus, but fail to support superior effectiveness for the more intensive intervention used in the experimental condition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-260
Number of pages12
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 1998


  • Antisocial
  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Drug abuse
  • Treatment outcome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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