Participation in Religious Activities During Contingency Management Interventions Is Associated with Substance Use Treatment Outcomes

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Many drug abuse treatment programs encourage participation in religious activities, yet there is scant research regarding their effectiveness. Contingency management (CM) interventions sometimes reinforce the completion of non-drug related activities, and church attendance is a popular activity. Cocaine abusers (n = 184) randomized to CM interventions were categorized based on whether or not they engaged in three or more religious activities. Engagers in religious activities (n = 34) remained in treatment longer, were abstinent for longer durations, and submitted more substance-negative samples than non-engagers (n = 150), even after controlling for number of activities completed overall. Thus, encouraging religious involvement during CM treatment may improve during treatment outcomes.

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