• Article

Voucher reinforcement for heroin and cocaine abstinence in an outpatient drug-free program

This study examined an abstinence-contingent voucher incentive program in opiate-dependent clients enrolled in outpatient drug-free (nonmethadone) treatment. Study participants were referred from local detoxification programs and randomly assigned to voucher (n = 29) or no-voucher (n = 23) conditions. Both groups received intensive cognitive-behavioral counseling those in the voucher condition could earn up to $1,087.50 over 3 months for submitting urines negative for both opiates and cocaine. Voucher versus no-voucher groups did not differ significantly on mean days retained in treatment (35.9 vs. 39.3 days), mean number of opiate- and cocaine-negative urines submitted (8.3 vs. 6.2), longest duration of continuous abstinence (16.8 vs. 12.1 days), or percentage of participants abstinent for 4 weeks (20.7% voucher vs. 9% no voucher). Possible reasons for negative findings are discussed. Findings suggest that voucher programs must be better tailored to the clinical population and behavioral targets being addressed

Citation

Katz, EC., Chutuape, MA., Jones, H., & Stitzer, ML. (2002). Voucher reinforcement for heroin and cocaine abstinence in an outpatient drug-free program. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 10(2), 136-143.