Rewarding early abstinence in Veterans Health Administration addiction clinics

Hildi J. Hagedorn, Siamak Noorbaloochi, Alisha Baines Simon, Ann Bangerter, Maxine L. Stitzer, Cheryl B. Stetler, Daniel Kivlahan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


This study investigates the addition of a contingency management (CM) intervention to Veterans Health Administration substance use disorders treatment on during- and post-treatment outcomes for Veterans diagnosed with alcohol dependence only (n= 191) or stimulant dependence (n= 139). Participants were randomly assigned to 8. weeks of usual care or usual care plus CM. Follow-up assessments occurred at 2, 6 and 12. months. In the alcohol dependent subgroup, CM participants submitted significantly more negative samples (13 versus 11 samples, Cohen's d= 0.54), were retained significantly longer (7 versus 6. weeks, d= 0.47), achieved significantly longer median durations of abstinence (16 versus 9 consecutive visits; median difference = 7, 95% CI = 4-8), and submitted significantly more negative samples at follow-ups (unstandardized effect size = 0.669, se = 0.2483) compared to usual care participants. Intervention effects were non-significant for the stimulant dependent subgroup. The study provides support for the effectiveness of CM interventions for alcohol dependent patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-117
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This material is based on work supported by grant number IIR 03-120 from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration, Office of Research & Development, Health Services Research & Development. The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the Department of Veterans Affairs or the United States government. The authors would like to express their gratitude to the following individuals for their contribution to this study: Nancy Rettmann, Lee Ann Heim, Tabitha Leighton, Eliza McManus, Evelina Marut, Carl Isenhart, Brittney Hamilton, Tina Marie Schmidt, Michelle Ingalsbe, and Carl Rimmele.

Copyright 2013 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Alcohol dependence
  • Contingency management
  • Effectiveness
  • Stimulant dependence
  • Substance use disorders treatment

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