Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


32nd Annual Convention; Atlanta, GA; 2006

Event Details

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Invited Symposium #348
CE Offered: None
Contingency Management for the Treatment of Substance Use Disorders: Contemporary Issues
Monday, May 29, 2006
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
Centennial Ballroom II
Area: BPH; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: John M. Roll (Washington State University, Friends Research Institute)
Discussant: Charles R. Schuster (Wayne State University)
CE Instructor: John M. Roll, Ed.D.

Contingency management (CM) refers to the systematic application of basic principles delineated by workers in the field of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior to assist individuals in changing their behavior. Primary emphasis is placed on the use of reinforcement and punishment to alter an individuals day-to-day behavior. CM has proven remarkably effective at facilitating both the adoption of new behaviors (e.g., exercise) and the termination of old behaviors (e.g., drug use). A number of CM procedures have been refined for the treatment of a variety of substance use disorders and related problems. These procedures have generally been successful in reducing drug use. This symposium will present data from three of the leaders in this field and include a discussion by a pioneer of the field.

Using Voucher-Based Contingency Management in Outpatient Treatment of Substance Use Disorders.
STEPHEN T. HIGGINS (University of Vermont)
Abstract: Substance abuse is a problem that confronts society at many levels. Providing effective treatments that assist afflicted individuals in terminating their drug using behavior has been a goal of our group. We have developed and refined contingency management interventions in which participants earn vouchers with a monetary value for providing biological evidence of abstinence. These procedures have been generally successful and have been applied to the treatment of many different types of substance use disorders. This presentation will review our work on this topic to date.
Dr. Stephen T. Higgins is a Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology, Vice Chair for Research and Director of Substance Abuse Research and Treatment Services in the Department of Psychiatry, at the University of Vermont. Dr. Higgins earned his Ph.D. from the University of Kansas in 1983, and thereafter completed a post-doctoral fellowship in clinical pharmacology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a staff fellowship at the Addiction Research Center of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) before joining the faculty of the University of Vermont in 1986. Dr. Higgins is a prior member of the Board of Directors of the College on Problems on Drug Dependence, Past-President of the Division of Psychopharmacology and Substance Abuse (Division 28) and a Fellow in four Divisions of the American Psychological Association. His research is a blend of clinical laboratory and treatment-outcome research directed towards furthering scientific understanding of the behavioral and pharmacological processes involved in substance use disorders. Dr. Higgins currently is Principal Investigator on three NIH/NIDA research grants on various aspects of drug abuse and an institutional training grant for pre- and post-doctoral training in drug abuse research. He has more than 200 publications to his credit and has received several awards for research excellence, including the College on Problems of Drug Dependence's Joseph Cochin Early Career Investigator Award, the Hazelden Foundation's Dan Anderson Research Award, the American Psychological Association’s, Division 25, Don Hake Basic/Applied Research Award, an NIH MERIT Award, and the University of Vermont's University Scholar Award. He is an active teacher and mentor in substance abuse research and is an editorial consultant to a number of scientific journals in the areas of substance abuse, psychopharmacology, and behavior analysis.
Employment-Based Abstinence Reinforcement in the Treatment of Cocaine Addiction.
KENNETH SILVERMAN (Johns Hopkins University)
Abstract: Cocaine addiction is often difficult to treat. Those treatments that do have efficacy can be difficult to sustain in community-based treatment centers. Our group has been working to develop an employment-based procedure for treating cocaine addiction. In this procedure individuals gain access to a workplace based on drug abstinence. We administer the work place and provide vocational training. To date, results have been generally successful.
Dr. Kenneth Silverman is Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His research focuses on developing operant treatments to address the interrelated problems of poverty and drug addiction. His research has focused primarily on the development and evaluation of abstinence reinforcement interventions for heroin and cocaine addiction in treatment-resistant, chronically unemployed adults, and the integration of those abstinence reinforcement contingencies into employment settings. Over the past several years, he has been developing an employment-based treatment called the therapeutic workplace that uses salary for work to reinforce drug abstinence.
Prize-Based Contingency Management: A Lower Cost CM Intervention.
NANCY PETRY (University of Connecticut)
Abstract: Contingency management interventions have been successful in initiating abstinence from a variety of drugs of abuse. Some have suggested; however, that these procedures have not been widely adopted by community treatment providers because they are potentially expensive. In response to this we have developed a procedure that programs lower-rates of overall reinforcement by allowing participants to draw slips of paper form a receptacle, each of which can be exchanged for a prize. The magnitude of the prizes varies from very low to high and the probability of winning decreases as the magnitude of the prize increases. Results to date have been generally positive.
Dr. Nancy Petry earned a Ph.D. in psychology from Harvard University in 1994. In 1996, she joined the faculty of the University of Connecticut Health Center, where she is Professor of Psychiatry. She conducts research on the treatment of addictive disorders, ranging from substance use disorders to pathological gambling, and has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles. Her work is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Dr. Petry serves as a consultant and advisor for the National Institute of Health and she is on the editorial boards of six academic journals. She received the American Psychological Association Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contributions to Psychology in 2003.



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