Skin conductance has been used as a measure of physiological arousal in cocaine cue reactivity studies. In this study, skin conductance responses in recently abstinent (average 3.1 +/- 1.7 days) cocaine dependent inpatients (N = 30) were assessed. A video depicting individuals preparing and using cocaine was the cue stimulus. Skin conductance responses were not increased by the stimulus cue. Several explanations are explored that may support not using skin conductance as an outcome measure in recently abstinent cocaine dependent patients.