Contingency Management Treatment for Substance Use Disorders: How Far Has It Come, and Where Does It Need to Go?

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Contingency management (CM) interventions consistently improve substance abuse treatment outcomes, yet CM remains a highly controversial intervention and is rarely implemented in practice settings. This article briefly outlines the evidence base of CM and then describes 4 of the most often-cited concerns about it: philosophical, motivational, durability, and economic. Data supporting and refuting each of these issues are reviewed. The article concludes with suggestions to address these matters and other important areas for CM research and implementation, with the aims of improving uptake of this efficacious intervention in practice settings and outcomes of patients with substance use disorders.

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