Contingent methadone dose increases as a method for reducing illicit opiate use in detoxification patients

S. T. Higgins, M. L. Stitzer, G. E. Bigelow, I. A. Liebson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Outpatient methadone detoxification is a common treatment for opiate dependence, but is often found to be ineffective in achieving even short-term abstinence. Typically, patients drop out of treatment or relapse to the use of illicit opiates prior to completion of the detox. One method for increasing abstinence from illicit opiates and also achieving greater retention in treatment has been to include contingency-management procedures in the detox. The purpose of the present study was to further investigate the use of contingency-management procedures with individuals enrolled in outpatient methadone detoxification. More specifically, in this study we investigated the effectiveness of contingent methadone-dose increases in reducing illicit-opiate use and increasing treatment retention. Although this study is still ongoing and the data are preliminary, the effects obtained to date are consistent with the existing literature showing the efficacy of contingency-management techniques in methadone treatment of opiate dependence. The use of contingent methadone-dose increases appears to have promise as a clinical method for reducing illicit-opiate use in outpatient methadone programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)178-184
Number of pages7
JournalNIDA Research Monograph Series
VolumeNO. 55
StatePublished - 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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