Contingency Management in Cocaine Abusers: A Dose-Effect Comparison of Goods-Based Versus Cash-Based Incentives

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Abstract

Goods-based contingency management interventions (e.g., those using vouchers or prizes as incentives) have demonstrated efficacy in reducing cocaine use, but cost has limited dissemination to community clinics. Recent research suggests that development of a cash-based contingency management approach may improve treatment outcomes while reducing operational costs of the intervention. However, the clinical safety of providing cash-based incentives to substance abusers has been a concern. The present 16-week study compared the effects of goods-based versus cash-based incentives worth $0, $25, $50, and $100 on short-term cocaine abstinence in a small sample of cocaine-dependent methadone patients (N = 12). A within-subject design was used; a 9-day washout period separated each of 8 incentive conditions. Higher magnitude ($50 and $100) cash-based incentives (checks) produced greater cocaine abstinence compared with the control ($0) condition, but a magnitude effect was not seen for goods-based incentives (vouchers). A trend was observed for greater rates of abstinence in the cash-based versus goods-based incentives at the $50 and $100 magnitudes. Receipt of $100 checks did not increase subsequent rates of cocaine use above those seen in control conditions. The efficacy and safety data provided in this and other recent studies suggest that use of cash-based incentives deserves consideration for clinical applications of contingency management, but additional confirmation in research using larger samples and more prolonged periods of incentive delivery is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)338-343
Number of pages6
JournalExperimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology
Volume15
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2007

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Keywords

  • abstinence incentives
  • cocaine dependence
  • contingency management
  • contingent reinforcement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

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