Contingency Management - VA Homeless Programs
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Contingency Management


Contingency Management

Contingency Management (CM) is an evidence-based treatment for substance use disorders that promotes abstinence and helps patients stay engaged in treatment. CM means that reinforcement or rewards are used to increase the likelihood that an individual will develop healthy behaviors. Reaching the target behavior is immediately rewarded with prizes ranging from praise to gift cards with monetary value. Rewarding positive steps towards a Veterans' treatment goals, such as testing negative for drugs or attending therapy sessions, increases the likelihood that these desired behaviors will be repeated in the future. As client needs vary, CM can fit those needs through slight modification. CM can be used as a stand-alone treatment or in combination with many other treatment styles, including:

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition)


(January 2018)

Improving Treatment & Access to Care for Veterans with Substance Use


No available resources

Inhibitory-control training for cocaine use disorder and contingency management for clinic attendance: A randomized pilot study of feasibility, acceptability and initial efficacy. Rush CR, Strickland JC, Pike E, Studts CR, Stoops WW. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2020 Feb 1;207:107803. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2019.107803. Epub 2019 Dec 16.

Mobile telephone-delivered contingency management interventions promoting behaviour change in individuals with substance use disorders: a meta-analysis. Getty CA, Morande A, Lynskey M, Weaver T, Metrebian N. Addiction. 2019 Nov;114(11):1915-1925. doi: 10.1111/add.14725. Epub 2019 Jul 27. Review.

Examining implementation of contingency management in real-world settings. Rash CJ, Alessi SM, Zajac K. Psychol Addict Behav. 2020 Feb;34(1):89-98. doi: 10.1037/adb0000496. Epub 2019 Jul 25.

The dissemination and implementation of contingency management for substance use disorders: A systematic review. Oluwoye O, Kriegel L, Alcover KC, McPherson S, McDonell MG, Roll JM. Psychol Addict Behav. 2020 Feb;34(1):99-110. doi: 10.1037/adb0000487. Epub 2019 Jul 1.

The compatibility of employment-based contingency management and vocational services at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Cosottile DW, DeFulio A. Psychol Addict Behav. 2020 Feb;34(1):111-116. doi: 10.1037/adb0000479. Epub 2019 Jun 20.

Pharmacotherapy for Stimulant Use Disorders: A Systematic Review, VA HSR&D QUERI Study, August 2018

Contingency management intervention targeting co-addiction of alcohol and drugs among American Indian adults: Design, methodology, and baseline data. Burduli E, Skalisky J, Hirchak K, Orr MF, Foote A, Granbois A, Ries R, Roll JM, Buchwald D, McDonell MG, McPherson SM. Clin Trials. 2018 Dec;15(6):587-599. doi: 10.1177/1740774518796151. Epub 2018 Aug 29.

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition) (January 2018)

Implementation of Contingency Management at a Large VA Addiction Treatment Center. Ruan H, Bullock CL, Reger GM. Psychiatr Serv. 2017 Dec 1;68(12):1207-1209. doi: 10.1176/ Epub 2017 Sep 15.

The Role of Behavioral Interventions in Buprenorphine Maintenance Treatment: A Review. Carroll KM, Weiss RD. Am J Psychiatry. 2017 Aug 1;174(8):738-747. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2016.16070792. Epub 2016 Dec 16. Review.

Contingency Management Interventions for HIV, Tuberculosis, and Hepatitis Control Among Individuals With Substance Use Disorders: A Systematized Review. Herrmann ES, Matusiewicz AK, Stitzer ML, Higgins ST, Sigmon SC, Heil SH. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2017 Jan;72:117-125. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2016.06.009. Epub 2016 Jun 24. Review.

An economic evaluation of contingency management for completion of hepatitis B vaccination in those on treatment for opiate dependence. Rafia R, Dodd PJ, Brennan A, Meier PS, Hope VD, Ncube F, Byford S, Tie H, Metrebian N, Hellier J, Weaver T, Strang J. Addiction. 2016 Sep;111(9):1616-27. doi: 10.1111/add.13385. Epub 2016 May 6.

Training opioid addiction treatment providers to adopt contingency management: A prospective pilot trial of a comprehensive implementation science approach. Becker SJ, Squires DD, Strong DR, Barnett NP, Monti PM, Petry NM. Subst Abus. 2016;37(1):134-40. doi: 10.1080/08897077.2015.1129524.

Motivation and Contingency Management Treatments for Substance Use Disorders. Walter KN, Petry NM. Curr Top Behav Neurosci. 2016;27:569-81. doi: 10.1007/7854_2015_374. Review.

Interest and preferences for contingency management design among addiction treatment clientele. Hartzler B, Garrett S. Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2016 May;42(3):287-95. doi: 10.3109/00952990.2015.1096365. Epub 2015 Dec

Disseminating contingency management: impacts of staff training and implementation at an opiate treatment program. Hartzler B, Jackson TR, Jones BE, Beadnell B, Calsyn DA. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2014 Apr;46(4):429-38. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2013.12.007. Epub 2013 Dec 21.

Evaluating training methods for transporting contingency management to therapists.Henggeler SW, Chapman JE, Rowland MD, Sheidow AJ, Cunningham PB. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2013 Nov-Dec;45(5):466-74. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2013.06.008. Epub 2013 Aug 1.

No available resources

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): SAMHSA is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA's mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities.

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA): NIAAA is one of the 27 institutes and centers that comprise the National Institutes of Health (NIH). NIAAA supports and conducts research on the impact of alcohol use on human health and well-being. It is the largest funder of alcohol research in the world.

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) NIDA is one of the 27 institutes and centers that comprise the National Institutes of Health (NIH). NIDA's mission is to advance science on the causes and consequences of drug use and addiction and to apply that knowledge to improve individual and public health.  An American Addiction Centers resource that provides residential and outpatient treatment. provides educational content and recovery resources to those struggling with alcohol abuse and drug addiction.

For more information on Contingency Management contact either Dr. James McKay and Dr. Dominick DePhilippis at the Philadelphia Center of Excellence in Substance Abuse Treatment and Education (CESATE).

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