A Faith-Based Intervention for Cocaine-Dependent Black Women

Gerald J. Stahler, Kimberly C. Kirby, Mary Louise E. Kerwin

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33 Scopus citations


The purpose of the present study was to obtain preliminary data on the effectiveness of a faith-based treatment adjunct for cocaine-using homeless mothers in residential treatment. The Bridges intervention utilizes various Black church communities to provide culturally-relevant group activities and individual mentoring from volunteers. Eighteen women who were recent treatment admissions were randomly assigned to receive Standard Treatment plus Bridges or Standard Treatment with an Attention Control. Participants were assessed at intake and three and six months after intake. Bridges treatment resulted in significantly better treatment retention (75% vs. 20% at six months) than standard residential treatment alone. In addition, Bridges produced superior outcomes at the six month followup assessment on a secondary measure of cocaine abstinence. Creating a community of social support through Black churches appears feasible and promising, and may be a cost-effective means of providing longer-term post-treatment support for cocaine-addicted women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-190
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Psychoactive Drugs
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology


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  • Center for Behavioral Analysis

    Kerwin, M. L. (Manager)


    Equipment/facility: Facility

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