To improve outcomes for treatment of drug abuse, it is necessary to use interventions that can motivate clients to attend treatment and initiate and sustain abstinence. This study in community-based methadone-maintenance clinics evaluated the effectiveness of abstinence-based incentives considerably lower in cost than those typically used in research clinics. The primary aim was to determine whether introduction of abstinence-based incentives targeting (a) drug abstinence and (b) patient retention into usual care improves these treatment outcomes, compared to usual care alone. 388 stimulant-abusing patients enrolled in six methadone-maintenance community treatment programs for at least 1 month and no more than 3 years were randomly assigned to receive usual care plus abstinence-based incentives or to usual care alone for 12 weeks.
Peirce, J., et al. (2006). Effects of lower-cost incentives on stimulant abstinence in methadone maintenance treatment. Archives of General Psychiatry 63: 201-208.