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California Expands Program That Pays People to Stop Using Drugs

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We’ll talk about how the program is working and discuss the ethical considerations for policymakers, taxpayers and drug users. (Carol Yepes via Getty Images)

California is the first state in the country to use federal funding for a controversial approach to reducing drug addiction: paying people to stop using. The state has been testing the strategy, known as the recovery incentives program, in San Francisco and a few other counties, for two years and is now rolling it out more broadly.The program specifically targets people who abuse meth and cocaine at a time when stimulant addictions and fatalities have skyrocketed. We’ll talk about how the program is working and discuss the ethical considerations for policymakers, taxpayers and drug users.

Guests:

Héctor Hernández-Delgado, staff attorney, National Health Law Program<br />

Nicholas King, associate professor in the Biomedical Ethics Unit, McGill University<br />

Brad Shapiro, professor of Psychiatry, UCSF School of Medicine

Jaramiah Fitts, participant in the recovery incentives program, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center<br />

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