Contingent Reinforcement of Group Participation Versus Abstinence in a Methadone Maintenance Program

Published in: Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, v. 4, no. 3, 1996, p. 315-321

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 1996

by Martin Y. Iguchi, Richard J. Lamb, Mark A. Belding, Jerome J. Platt, Stephen D. Husband, Andrew R. Morral

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This study compared the effectiveness of 2 types of contingency management interventions on reducing unauthorized drug use among methadone maintenance patients. Take-home medications were used to reinforce either the provision of drug-free urines (UA) or attendance of groups providing training in interpersonal problem solving (TIPS). Newly enrolled patients were randomly assigned to either the TIPS (n = 34) or the UA (n = 32) condition after a 12-week stabilization period. During the course of the 24-week intervention period, UA participants showed greater improvement than TIPS participants in rates of abstinence from unauthorized drugs. Also, a greater proportion of UA participants met a priori criteria for clinical improvement, whereas a greater proportion of TIPS participants met a priori criteria for clinical deterioration. The results support the efficacy of contingency interventions targeted specifically at drug-using behavior.

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