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How Paying People Who Use Drugs To Stay Sober Works

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A driver surrenders containers of pills and prescription drugs to be boxed for disposal during the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) 20th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day at Watts Healthcare on April 24, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

Rewarding someone for not abusing drugs might sound counterintuitive, but in fact, its a highly effective form of treatment. Called “contingency management,” the treatment focuses on positive reinforcement, and the VA has been using it successfully for the last ten years. A bill on California Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk would help fund this program statewide. We’ll talk to experts about how and why contingency management works and how it could improve treatment outcomes.


Wayne Rufus, Contingency Management Program Manager, San Francisco AIDS Foundation

Dr. Dominick DePhilippis, clinical psychologist, Philadelphia Center for Substance Addiction Treatment &amp; Education (CESATE)<br />

Billy Lemon, executive director, Castro Country Club, a nonprofit focused on supporting sobriety


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