Employment-Based Reinforcement of Adherence to Oral Naltrexone in Unemployed Injection Drug Users: 12-Month Outcomes

Kelly Dunn, Anthony DeFulio, Jeffrey J. Everly, Wendy D. Donlin, Will M. Aklin, Paul A. Nuzzo, Jeannie Marie S. Leoutsakos, Annie Umbricht, Michael Fingerhood, George E. Bigelow, Kenneth Silverman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Oral naltrexone could be a promising relapse-prevention pharmacotherapy for recently detoxified opioid-dependent patients; however, interventions are often needed to promote adherence with this treatment approach. We recently conducted a study to evaluate a 26-week employment-based reinforcement intervention of oral naltrexone in unemployed injection drug users (Dunn et al., 2013). Participants were randomly assigned into a contingency (n= 35) group required to ingest naltrexone under staff observation to gain entry into a therapeutic workplace or a prescription (n= 32) group given a take-home supply of oral naltrexone and access to the workplace without observed ingestion. Monthly urine samples were collected and analyzed for evidence for naltrexone adherence, opioid use, and cocaine use. As previously reported, contingency participants provided significantly more naltrexone-positive urine samples than prescription participants during the 26-week intervention period. The goal of this current study is to report the 12-month outcomes, which occurred 6 months after the intervention ended. Results at the 12-month visit showed no between-groups differences in naltrexone-positive, opioid-negative, or cocaine-negative urine samples and no participant self-reported using naltrexone at the follow-up visit. These results show that even after a period of successfully reinforced oral naltrexone adherence, longer-term naltrexone use is unlikely to be maintained after reinforcement contingencies are discontinued.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)270-276
Number of pages7
JournalPsychology of Addictive Behaviors
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2015


  • cocaine
  • contingency management
  • naltrexone
  • opioids
  • therapeutic workplace

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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