Using cognitive training to improve client outcomes in addiction treatment

Associate Professor Victoria Manning
SMART Recovery Australia Research Advisory Committee

Have you been hearing about increases in alcohol use since Covid-19 lockdowns and wondering how we break the habit? Ever found yourself on ‘auto-pilot’ reaching for the fridge and grabbing a beer before really deciding to have an alcoholic drink?

Come along to this talk and learn about a new type of brain-training that addresses the subconscious drivers of addictive behaviours, called cognitive bias modification (CBM). Join us to hear about the launch of a brand-new, personalised-CBM smartphone app designed to reduced alcohol craving and consumption that Turning Point & Monash researchers are about to trial.

This talk will provide an overview of the different types of cognitive training and will review the latest evidence for their efficacy in improving targeted cognitive processes and outcomes of relevance to alcohol and drug use disorders. I will focus heavily on cognitive bias modification (CBM) which has shown the most consistent positive effects in terms of reducing relapse among those seeking treatment for substance use disorders. I will present findings from a series of CBM studies conducted at Turning Point, where we have found ‘approach-avoidance’ training to be an effective adjunctive intervention during AOD withdrawal treatment. Importantly, the presentation will highlight priorities for future research efforts needed to bridge the neuroscience-practice gap, and examine how cognitive training might complement existing biological, psychological and social approaches aiding recovery from addiction.

Source: Turning Point