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Brief Therapies for Problem Gambling Substance Abusers

This study has been completed.
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
UConn Health Identifier:
First received: May 23, 2008
Last updated: February 24, 2014
Last verified: February 2014
This project evaluates the efficacy of brief interventions for individuals seeking treatment for substance use disorders who also have gambling problems. In total, 220 problem gambling substance abusers will be randomized to one of three conditions: (a) a control condition consisting of 10 minutes of psychoeducation about gambling, (b) 10 minutes of brief advice about problem gambling and how to reduce it, or (c) four session of motivational and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Gambling, substance use and psychosocial problems will be assessed using standardized instruments at pre-treatment, month 2, 5, 8, 12, 16, 20 and 24-month follow-up evaluations.

Condition Intervention Phase
Behavioral: 10 minutes of psycho-education
Behavioral: 10 minutes of brief advice
Behavioral: four 50-minute individual therapy sessions of MET & CBT
Phase 2

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Factorial Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Brief Therapies for Problem Gambling Substance Abusers

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by UConn Health:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • dollars and days gambled per month [ Time Frame: baseline and each follow-up ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Enrollment: 220
Study Start Date: July 2007
Study Completion Date: January 2014
Primary Completion Date: January 2014 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: 1
Behavioral: 10 minutes of psycho-education
Patients review with study therapist a brochure about types of gambling people engage in and relationships between gambling, drug use, moods, and legal problems.
Experimental: 2
brief advice
Behavioral: 10 minutes of brief advice
Patients will review with study therapist a brochure and advice about problem gambling. It will also contain methods for reducing gambling.
Experimental: 3
Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET)/Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Behavioral: four 50-minute individual therapy sessions of MET & CBT


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • age > 18 years
  • current (past-year) DSM-IV criteria for alcohol, cocaine, opioid or marijuana abuse or dependence
  • score >3 on the past-two month SOGS
  • report an average of >2 gambling days per month for the past 2 months; (e) spent an average of >$50/month on gambling in the past 2 months
  • English speaking
  • sign informed consent.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • have uncontrolled major psychiatric disorders other than substance use that require inpatient hospitalization (e.g., active bipolar disorder, psychosis, suicidality)
  • desire specific gambling treatment or are currently receiving treatment for gambling
  • have severe cognitive impairment
  • read below 5th grade level
  • plan to relocate >100 miles or are likely to be incarcerated
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00685048

United States, Connecticut
University of Connecticut Health Center
Farmington, Connecticut, United States, 06030
Sponsors and Collaborators
UConn Health
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Principal Investigator: Nancy M Petry, Ph.D. UConn Health Center
  More Information

Responsible Party: UConn Health Identifier: NCT00685048     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 07-108-2  R01DA021567  R01DA021567-01 
Study First Received: May 23, 2008
Last Updated: February 24, 2014
Health Authority: United States: Federal Government
United States: Institutional Review Board

Keywords provided by UConn Health:
Brief Therapies
Substance Abuse

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Disruptive, Impulse Control, and Conduct Disorders
Mental Disorders processed this record on October 27, 2016