Objective: Determine if employment-based reinforcement can increase methadone treatment engagement and drug abstinence in out-of-treatment injection drug users. Method: This study was conducted from 2008 to 2012 in a therapeutic workplace in Baltimore, MD. After a 4-week induction, participants (N. =. 98) could work and earn pay for 26. weeks and were randomly assigned to Work Reinforcement, Methadone & Work Reinforcement, and Abstinence, Methadone & Work Reinforcement conditions. Work Reinforcement participants had to work to earn pay. Methadone & Work Reinforcement and Abstinence, Methadone, & Work Reinforcement participants had to enroll in methadone treatment to work and maximize pay. Abstinence, Methadone, & Work Reinforcement participants had to provide opiate- and cocaine-negative urine samples to maximize pay. Results: Most participants (92%) enrolled in methadone treatment during induction. Drug abstinence increased as a graded function of the addition of the methadone and abstinence contingencies. Abstinence, Methadone & Work Reinforcement participants provided significantly more urine samples negative for opiates (75% versus 54%) and cocaine (57% versus 32%) than Work Reinforcement participants. Methadone & Work Reinforcement participants provided significantly more cocaine-negative samples than Work Reinforcement participants (55% versus 32%). Conclusion: The therapeutic workplace can promote drug abstinence in out-of-treatment injection drug users.
- Contingency management
- Financial incentives
- Injection drug use
- Out-of-treatment injection drug user
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health