Effects of Contingency Management on Substance Abuse Continuing Care Participation

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ObjectivesThe purpose of the present study was to evaluate the effectiveness and feasibility of adding a contingency management (CM) component to the standard substance abuse treatment program available to substance-dependent veterans.MethodsParticipants included 36 substance-dependent male veterans who completed the Veterans Affairs Medical Center residential or day treatment program. Participants were enrolled in either the CM or standard treatment program. The CM group included 6 substance-dependent male veterans who agreed to participate in a 6-month CM program. In this program, veterans were rewarded with vouchers for attending aftercare sessions and submitting breath and urine samples that were negative for alcohol and other drugs. The standard treatment group included 30 substance-dependent male veterans who completed the residential or day treatment program immediately before the initiation of the CM program.ResultsVeterans who participated in the adjunctive CM program attended significantly more aftercare sessions than those in the standard treatment group during both the 6-month CM program and the 6 months after the discontinuation of the program.ConclusionsInitial findings indicate that CM may be a useful means of increasing treatment attendance among veterans with substance use disorders. The difficulties encountered during the process of integrating the CM component into the standard treatment program are discussed.

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