Skip to main content

ACT for addictions: Studies and publications

There is an Applying ACT to Addictions Special Interest Group (SIG) that ACBS members can join.

For an up-to-date list of ACT RCTs for addiction, ACBS members can go to the Applying ACT to Addictions SIG Resources.

Below is summarized existing ACT empirical articles and references related to substance abuse, gambling, and recovery. Please contribute by adding to it if you see that references are missing.

Gambling related references:

Dymond, S. & Whelan, R. (2007). Verbal relations and the behavior analysis of gambling. Analysis of Gambling Behavior, 1, 19-20

Nastally, B. L. & Dixon, M. R. (2012). The Effect of a Brief Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Intervention on the Near-Miss Effect in Problem Gamblers. Psychological Record, 62 (4), 677-690.

Non empirical publications on substance abuse

Batten, S. V., DeViva, J. C., Santanello, A. P., Morris, L. J., Benson, P. R., & Mann, M. A. (2009). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for comorbid PTSD and substance use disorders. In J. Blackledge, J. Ciarrochi, & F. Dean (Eds.), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: Current Directions (pp. 311-328). Queensland, Australia: Australian Academic Press.

Buckner, J. D., Zvolensky, M. J.,  Farris, S. G., & Hogan, J. (in press). Social Anxiety and Coping Motives for Cannabis Use: The Impact of Experiential Avoidance.
Psychology of Addictive Behaviors.

Heffner, M. & Eifert, G. (2003). Valued directions: Acceptance & Commitment Therapy in the treatment of alcohol dependence. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 10, 378-383.

Luoma, J.B. & Kohlenberg, B. S. (2012). Self-Stigma and Shame in Addictions. In S. C. Hayes & M. Levin (Eds). Acceptance, Mindfulness, Values, and Addictive Behaviors: Counseling with Contemporary Cognitive Behavioral Therapies. Oakland: New Harbinger.

Smout, M. (2008). Psychotherapy for Methamphetamine Dependence. Drug and Alcohol Services South Australia 2008: 429.

Turner, N., Welches, P., & Conti, S. (2013). Mindfulness-Based Sobriety. New Habringer, Oakland, CA. (book that integrates ACT with some other related approaches)

Wilson, K. G. & Byrd, M. R. (2004). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Substance Abuse and Dependence. In S. C. Hayes & K. Strosahl, (Eds.)A Practical Guide to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (pp. 153-184). New York: Springer Press. (preprint available from 1st author -- click on his name above.)

Wilson, K. G. & Hayes, S. C. (2000). Why it is crucial to understand thinking and feeling: an analysis and application to drug abuse. The Behavior Analyst, 23, 25-43.

Wilson, K. G., Hayes, S. C., & Byrd, M. (2000). Exploring compatibilities between Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and 12-Step treatment for substance abuse. Journal of Rational-Emotive and Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, 18, 209-234.

Substance abuse research

Batten, S. V., & Hayes, S. C. (2005). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in the Treatment of Comorbid Substance Abuse and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Case Study. Clinical Case Studies, 4(3), 246-262.

Bricker, J. B., Mann, S. L., Marek, P. M., Liu, J. M., Peterson, A. V. (2010). Telephone-delivered acceptance and commitment therapy for adult smoking cessation: A feasibility study. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 12,454-458.

Bricker, J., Wyszynski, C., Comstock, B., & Heffner, J. L. (2013). Pilot randomized controlled trial of web-based acceptance and commitment therapy for smoking cessation. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 15(10), 1756-1764.  

Brown, R. A., Palm, K. M., Strong, D. R., Lejuez, C. W., Kahler, C. W. Zvolensky, M. J., Hayes, S. C., Wilson, K. G., Gifford, E. V. (2008). Development of an exposure- and ACT-based distress tolerance treatment for early lapse smokers: Rationale, program description, and preliminary findings. Behavior Modification, 32, 302-332.

Gifford, E. V., Kohlenberg, B. S., Hayes, S. C., Antonuccio, D. O., Piasecki, M. M.., Rasmussen-Hall, M. L., & Palm, K. M. (2004). Acceptance theory-based treatment for smoking cessation: An initial trial of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Behavior Therapy, 35, 689-705.

Gifford, E. V., Kohlenberg, B., Hayes, S. C., Pierson, H., Piasecki, M., Antonuccio, D., & Palm, K. (2011). Does acceptance and relationship focused behavior therapy contribute to bupropion outcomes? A randomized controlled trial of FAP and ACT for smoking cessation. Behavior Therapy, 42, 700-715. L

Hayes, S. C., & Levin, M. (Eds.). (2012). Mindfulness and Acceptance for Addictive Behaviors: Applying Contextual CBT to Substance Abuse and Behavioral Addictions. New Harbinger Publications.

Hayes, S. C., Wilson, K.G., Gifford, E.V., Bissett, R., Piasecki, M., Batten, S.V., Byrd, M., & Gregg, J. (2004). A preliminary trial of twelve-step facilitation and acceptance and commitment therapy with polysubstance-abusing methadone-maintained opiate addicts. Behavior Therapy, 35, 667-688.

Luoma, J. B., Drake, C., Hayes, S. C., Kohlenberg, B. (2011). Substance Abuse and Psychological Flexibility: The Development of a New Measure. Addiction Research and Theory, 19(1), 3-13.

Luoma, J.B., Nobles, R. H., Drake, C., E., Hayes, S. C., O-Hair, A., Fletcher, L., & Kohlenberg, B. S. (2013). A New Measure of Self-Stigma in Addiction: Measure Development and Psychometrics. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 34, 1-12.

Luoma, J. B., Kohlenberg, B. S., Hayes, S. C., Bunting, K. & Rye, A. K. (2008). Reducing the self stigma of substance abuse through acceptance and commitment therapy: Model, manual development, and pilot outcomes. Addiction Research & Therapy, 16, 149-165.

Luoma, J. B., & Kohlenberg, B.S., Hayes, S. C., & Fletcher, L. (2012). Slow and Steady Wins the Race: A Randomized Clinical Trial of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Targeting Shame in Substance Use Disorders. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 80, 43-51.

Smout, M. F., Longo, M., Harrison, S., Minniti, R., Wickes, W., & White, J. M. (2010). Psychosocial treatment for methamphetamine use disorders: A preliminary randomized controlled trial of cognitive behavior therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy. Substance Abuse, 31, 98–107.

Stotts, A., Masuda, A., & Wilson, K. (2009) Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy During Methadone Dose Reduction: Rationale, Treatment Description, and a Case Report. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 16, 205-213.

Stotts, A. L., Green, C., Masuda, A., Grabowski, J., Wilson, K., Northrup, T. F., ... & Schmitz, J. M. (2012). A stage I pilot study of acceptance and commitment therapy for methadone detoxification. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 125(3), 215-222.

Villagrá Lanza, P., & González Menéndez, A. (2013). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for drug abuse in incarcerated women. Psicothema, 25(3).  This is part of a larger study so if it better to refewr to the full data set: Villagrá P, Fernández P, Rodríguez F, González A. (in press). Acceptance and commitment therapy vs. cognitive behavioural therapy in the treatment of substance use disorder with incarcerated women. Journal of Clinical Psychology. The long term (18 month) follow up data are reported in González-Menéndez, A., Fernández, P., Rodríguez, F., & Villagrá, P. (2014) Long-term outcomes of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in drug-dependent female inmates: A randomized controlled trial. International Journal of Clinical Health Psychology, 14, 18-27.

Twohig, M. P., Shoenberger, D., & Hayes, S. C. (2007). A preliminary investigation of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy as a treatment for marijuana dependence in adults. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 40,619-632.

Tull, M., Schulzinger, D., Schmidt, N.B., Zvolensky, M.J., Lejuez, C. W. (2007). Development and initial examination of a brief intervention for heightened anxiety sensitivity among heroin users. Behavior Modification, 31, 220-242.

Vilardaga, R., Luoma, J.B., Hayes, S.C., Pistorello, J., Levin, M., Hildebrandt, M.J., Kohlenberg, B., Roget, N. & Bond, F.W. (in press). Burnout among the addiction counseling workforce: The differential roles of mindfulness and values-based processes and worksite factors. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment.

This page contains attachments restricted to ACBS members. Please join or login with your ACBS account.