Reinforcement-based intensive outpatient treatment for inner city opiate abusers: A short-term evaluation

Karin Gruber, Mary Ann Chutuape, Maxine L Stitzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We evaluated 3-month outcomes for reinforcement-based intensive outpatient treatment (RBT), a new relapse prevention behavior therapy for inner city opiate abusers. The therapy provides abstinence-contingent partial support of housing, food and recreational activities, abstinence-contingent access to social skills and job finding group therapy and non-contingent individual counseling, all in the context of a day treatment program. Heroin abusers (n=52), contacted at a 3-day detoxification unit, were randomly assigned to RBT (n=28) or referred to community treatment resources (n=24) after a staff escort from the detoxification unit. For RBT patients, treatment began on the day of discharge; 61% received partial rent support in a recovery house based on the need for drug-free housing; the remainder were eligible for partial support of utility payments where they lived. Abstinence-based contingencies were in effect for 1 month with three times per week counseling available for an additional 2 months. One month after detoxification, 61% of RBT versus 17% of referral patients were enrolled in outpatient treatment (P

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-223
Number of pages13
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2000



  • Aftercare
  • Cocaine
  • Contingency management
  • Drug abuse treatment
  • Employment
  • Heroin
  • Housing
  • Outpatient treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Toxicology
  • Health(social science)

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