Drug cues and craving 'reliably flag relapse' in substance use

A major review provides strong evidence the indicators are useful in assessment of patients, researchers say

Craving and drug cues are reliable predictors of future drug use and relapse in patients with substance use disorders, according to the largest meta-analysis on the subject to date.

US researchers say their findings strongly support incorporating craving assessment across all stages of treatment, including “as early as primary care”.

“[Each] unit increase of cue and craving indicators was associated with more than double the odds of drug use and relapse,” they wrote in JAMA