Degree Name

Master of Science

Department or Program



Greene, Brandon F.



Drug dependence is a far-reaching problem that goes beyond the individual to society at large. While a myriad of substances have addictive properties, the scope of this review is limited to crack cocaine – how the brain, specifically the mesolimbic dopamine system, is compromised by administration of crack cocaine, physiological changes and the relevance of dopamine levels to susceptibility to addiction.

Studies based on the use of behavior analysis tools including functional analysis, positive and negative reinforcement, delayed discounting, contingency management, stages of readiness, motivation for change, and determining alternate behaviors as replacements for addictive behavior are included. Participants in the primary studies were cocaine abusers who were attending community treatment centers. Inclusion criteria varied by study but most required a clean or negative urine result prior to the start of the study as well as an assessment to determine extent of drug use and other baseline measurements.

The use of behavior analysis in providing treatment options is a viable alternative for crack addicted individuals as shown by studies presented in this review. Offering addiction professionals effective treatment programs such as contingency management using voucher programs is viable but only if communities are willing to provide the resources necessary to make these alternative treatments available to paying and nonpaying clients.