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 community-based methadone-maintenance 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. 388 stimulant-abusing patients enrolled in six methadone-maintenance community treatment programs for at least 1 month and no more than 3 years were randomly assigned to receive usual care plus abstinence-based incentives or to usual care alone for 12 weeks.

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Primary Outcomes Article: 

Peirce, J., et al. (2006).  Effects of lower-cost incentives on stimulant abstinence in methadone maintenance treatment.  Archives of General Psychiatry 63: 201-208.

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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