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