Aims. Coping skills training, a promising treatment approach for alcoholics, was adapted for use with cocaine abusers and effects on outcome were investigated. Design. A cocaine-specific coping skills training (CST) package was compared to an attention placebo control when both were added to a comprehensive treatment program. Setting. The sites were two private substance abuse treatment facilities, one residential and rural, and one an urban partial hospital. Participants. Substance abusers in treatment with cocaine abuse or dependence were selected. Intervention. The CST intervention was conducted in individual sessions. It involved functional analysis of high risk situations and coping skills training based on the functional analysis. Findings. Clients who received CST had significantly fewer cocaine use days and the length of their longest binge was significantly shorter during the 3-month follow-up period compared to clients in the control condition. CST did not affect relapse rates or use of other substances. Conclusions. Results support the notion that cocaine-specific CST is a promising adjunct to treatment for cocaine abusers.