The new study is one of the largest ever done to examine the merits of contingency management, a positive-reinforcement treatment method in which patients are given rewards for constructive actions taken towards their recovery, for treating addiction.
"This type of behavior research will help us understand what type of treatments and interventions, often used in conjunction with targeted specific pharmacotherapies such as methadone for opiate addiction, are effective and how they can be translated into real life," says Kreek, Patrick E. and Beatrice M. Haggerty Professor and head of the Laboratory on the Biology of Addictive Disease.
The Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment paper tells the story of a transformation within the system, says Kellogg, who is a clinical psychologist in Kreek's laboratory
"We are hoping this study, which describes the experience of using contingency management from the vantage point of each group of participants, will inspire other people to think that this is something that they might want to bring into their clinic or their treatment system," he says. "To transform the field, we need to have both numbers and the stories. Together, this is a powerful mechanism for change."
The intervention was first used in the addiction field in the mid-60s with alcoholic patients. The treatment was partially based on the behaviorist B. F. Skinner's i
Contact: Kristine Kelly