Motivational Incentives: A study of new ways to help people remain abstinent

To improve outcomes for treatment of drug abuse, it is necessary to use interventions that can motivate clients to attend treatment and initiate and sustain abstinence. This study in counseling-based drug-free clinics evaluated the effectiveness of abstinence-based incentives considerably lower in cost than those typically used in research clinics. The primary aim was to determine whether introduction of abstinence-based incentives targeting (a) drug abstinence and (b) patient retention into usual care improves these treatment outcomes, compared to usual care alone. 415 cocaine or methamphetamine users from eight counseling-based outpatient drug-free clinics were randomly assigned to receive usual care plus abstinence-based incentives or to receive usual care alone for 12 weeks.

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Primary Outcomes Article: 

Petry, N., et al. (2005).  Effect of prize-based incentives on outcomes in stimulant abusers in outpatient psychosocial treatment programs.  Archives of General Psychiatry 62: 1148-1156.

Principal Investigator(s): 

Maxine Stitzer, Ph.D.
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
5510 Nathan Shock Drive
Suite 1500
Baltimore, MD 21224

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