Anxiety Sensitivity Treatment for Heroin Users

Brief Summary

Official Title: “Novel Intervention for Drug Use and HIV Risk Among Anxiety Sensitive Heroin Users”

Anxiety Sensitivity Treatment for Heroin Users is a development project targeting mild and above levels of anxiety sensitivity that will involve the testing of a specialized protocol for improving treatment retention and outcomes for heroin dependent individuals in a residential substance use treatment. ASTH-HR will integrate established treatment modules such as Healthy Relationships, along with interoceptive exposure, affect management, and psycho-education exercises developed for anxiety prevention and treatment programs with standard substance use treatment.

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design: Allocation: Randomized, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Treatment
  • Study Primary Completion Date: March 2011

Interventions Used in this Clinical Trial

  • Behavioral: Anxiety sensitivity therapy
    • ASTH consists of 6 sessions of individual treatment, each lasting approximately 75 minutes over 3 weeks. In general, each session consists of the following components1) psychoeducation regarding the anxiety response, with a focus on increasing awareness of the ways in which the patient interprets or evaluates that response 2) assistance in developing healthy emotion regulation strategies that can be used to increase acceptance and tolerance of the anxiety response (including associated catastrophic thoughts), as well as understanding the consequences associated with avoidance or control of anxiety 3) a minimum of 3 interoceptive exercises tailored to activate feared anxiety-related sensations and 4) daily homework assignments (i.e., daily anxiety monitoring and interoceptive exercises).

Outcome Measures for this Clinical Trial

Primary Measures

  • Anxiety Sensitivity Index-3
    • Time Frame: 24 weeks
      Safety Issue?: No

Secondary Measures

  • Timeline Follow Back 90 days
    • Time Frame: 24 weeks
      Safety Issue?: No

Criteria for Participation in this Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • exhibit a score of 21 on a self-report measure of anxiety sensitivity
  • be in 28 days of residential substance use treatment.
  • meet criteria for current opioid dependence as determined by SCID interview administered at intake.

Exclusion Criteria

  • evidence of limited mental competency
  • the inability to give informed, voluntary, written consent to participate
  • current psychosis
  • current bipolar disorder.

Gender Eligibility for this Clinical Trial: Both

Minimum Age for this Clinical Trial: 18 Years

Maximum Age for this Clinical Trial: 65 Years

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted for this Clinical Trial: No

Clinical Trial Investigator Information

  • Lead Sponsor
    • University of Maryland
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Dr. Carl W. Lejuez, Department of Psychology University Of Maryland, College Park
  • Overall Contact(s)
    • Carl W Lejuez, PhD, (301)405-5932,


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