Despite immense advancements in medical science, it is a challenging task to select the right treatment for the people struggling with substance abuse. Since every individual needs a more integrated, individualized, comprehensive and long-term approach of care, it becomes quite difficult to provide quality substance abuse treatment to everyone. In the absence of one effective standard treatment for all, the approach of contingency management has proven beneficial to most patients.
An effective treatment for substance abuse through the approach of contingency management is based on the concept of rewarding good performance or behavior, such as parents providing allowances to their children to develop certain good habits and giving bonuses to reward good performance of employees. The therapy is used by psychiatrists and psychologists to help people get rid of their addiction.
Key benefits of contingency management
The key objective of contingency management in addiction treatment is to leverage the reward system and reinforcement procedures to modify drug-seeking behaviors. It emphasizes on developing positive behaviors related to drug-free lifestyle. Based on the understanding that substance abuse is immensely impacted by social, environmental and biological factors, it rewards desirable behavioral changes in patients in the form of vouchers, sports equipment, retail goods, movie tickets and electronics after submitting drug-free urine samples. In fact, one can also earn money in the form of reward.
Such rewards are important to motivate individuals suffering from addiction to substances like alcohol and drugs to remain abstinent during treatment. Moreover, they are effective in retaining patients in treatment despite the challenging withdrawal symptoms and other problems. For example, Sovereign Health – a leading name in the U.S. in the field of addiction treatment – patients are rewarded points or tickets for negative drug tests. These rewards can be used for buying goods and services essential for healthy living.
The contingency management treatment for substance abuse rewards patients for attending counseling sessions and showing positive changes in their behavior during rehab. It is an effective treatment for the high-risk groups, such as intravenous users, pregnant women, etc. It not only minimizes dangerous consequences of using drugs via injection, but also effectively treats pregnant woman suffering from addiction.
One of the clinical studies has shown that incorporating contingency management into the treatment has improved the rates of drug abstinence and treatment retention. As a result, a number of community-based treatment programs have incorporated it. It also highlighted that contingency management has displayed positive outcomes across all substance-using populations, including those addicted to opiate or cocaine. Compared to other behavioral therapies, the contingency management treatment for substance abuse has shown significant results.
In terms of patient retention, the total percentage of patients missing appointments is incredibly high By adopting contingency management treatment, many treatment facilities have succeeded in retaining more patients than before. However, some studies have shown that contingency management in addiction treatment is less effective when the value of vouchers is very low. The cost of vouchers is one of the main motivational factors to change a person’s drug-seeking behavior.
Innovative therapies key to recovery
Despite its effectiveness in treating substance abuse, contingency management is not practiced outside the United States. Raising ethical issues, the opponents of contingency management in addiction treatment deride it as an approach that bribes users for staying clean. They also fear that patients can deceive health care professionals by providing clean urine samples not belonging to them. Moreover, such an approach fails to address the issues contributing to substance abuse. Therefore, before going for contingency treatment, one must consult a medical professional or expert.
Usually, contingency management treatment for substance abuse is used in combination with other therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Therefore, it can play a pivotal role in ensuring holistic and long-lasting recovery from substance abuse.
If you or your loved one is suffering from any form of SUD and seeking an effective treatment, Sovereign Health can help. Our world-class addiction treatment centers staffed by highly skilled medical professionals offer tailor-made treatment for addiction. Call at our 24/7 helpline or chat online with our representative for more information and guidance.