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Contingency Management

Contingency Management for Stimulant Use Disorders

At Maryville Addiction Treatment Center, we’re always looking for evidence-based and effective ways to help people overcome addiction. One approach we use is contingency management (CM), which is especially beneficial for treating stimulant use disorders like those involving methamphetamines, ecstasy, Adderall and more.

What Is Contingency Management?

Contingency management is a unique treatment method based on rewarding positive behaviors. For example, if a client tests negative for drugs, they might receive a prize like money or a gift card. This approach comes from the idea of operant conditioning, a psychological theory that suggests positive reinforcement can encourage good behavior.

The primary goal of CM is to repair the brain’s reward system, which can get damaged by drug use. By providing incentives for staying drug-free, CM helps to retrain the brain to appreciate healthier activities.

Why It Works

Evidence suggests that CM can be very successful. The National Institute on Drug Abuse found that people who receive money during their treatment tend to do better. CM is promising for treating stimulants like crack, amphetamines and others. This approach is safe, too, with studies showing no serious negative effects.

Still, some people worry about CM. They think it might make people trade one dependency for another. Others question if it’s appropriate to give rewards for something like staying sober. But considering how serious drug addiction is, using every possible method makes sense. Leading organizations like the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Health and Human Services support CM’s use.

How Maryville Uses CM

At Maryville, we combine CM with other therapies. Our clients participate in group and individual therapy sessions while receiving incentives for progress and continued sobriety. This comprehensive approach helps maintain motivation and supports recovery. We also offer limited transportation to make sure our clients can get to and from our center.

CM is one of the many tools we use to help our clients move forward in recovery. To learn more about our approach to treating stimulant use disorders, please reach out to us.

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