Gaining Momentum: Cash Incentives to Stay Off Drugs

For Billy Lemon, being paid $330 to stay off meth for 12 weeks was certainly financially helpful—but also invaluable was the sense of achievement.
 
Plus: It worked.
 
Research shows the “contingency management” strategy—rooted in positive reinforcement techniques—is the most effective treatment for cocaine and meth addiction.
 
These incentives may be a small price to pay, as cocaine and meth-related public health costs are spiraling in California. Still, most insurers and Medicaid programs won’t cover such programs.
 
That could soon change: A bill to make contingency management payable by Medicaid passed the California legislature with near unanimous bipartisan backing—and the approach is gaining momentum in other states, too.
 
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