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J Appl Behav Anal. 1982 Winter; 15(4): 493–503.
PMCID: PMC1308297

Contingent reinforcement for benzodiazepine-free urines: evaluation of a drug abuse treatment intervention.


This study evaluated contingent reinforcement for benzodiazepine-free urines as a therapeutic intervention for promoting reduced use of supplemental benzodiazepine drugs among methadone maintenance outpatients. Ten methadone maintenance patients were selected for participation on the basis of positive urinalysis results. During a 12-week intervention period these patients were offered clinic privileges, including monetary payments or methadone take-home doses, contingent on benzodiazepine negative urinalysis test results. Eight of ten participants responded to the intervention with at least 2.5 weeks of consecutive clean urines. An increase in benzodiazepine-negative tests during the contingent reinforcement period was significant for the group as a whole. The results suggest that more widespread application of contingent reinforcement procedures may be warranted in drug abuse treatment clinics.

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Selected References

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  • Bigelow G, Stitzer M, Lawrence C, Krasnegor N, D'Lugoff B, Hawthorne J. Narcotics addiction treatment: behavioral methods concurrent with methadone maintenance. Int J Addict. 1980 Apr;15(3):427–437. [PubMed]
  • Budd RD, Walkin E. Mass screening and confirmation of diazepam in urine by EMIT-thin-layer chromatography. Clin Toxicol. 1980 Apr;16(2):201–207. [PubMed]
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  • Stitzer M, Bigelow G. Contingency management in a methadone maintenance program: availability of reinforcers. Int J Addict. 1978 Jul;13(5):737–746. [PubMed]
  • Stitzer M, Bigelow G, Lawrence C, Cohen J, D'Lugoff B, Hawthorne J. Medication take-home as a reinforcer in a methadone maintenance program. Addict Behav. 1977;2(1):9–14. [PubMed]
  • Stitzer ML, Bigelow GE, Liebson I. Reducing benzodiazepine self-administration with contingent reinforcement. Addict Behav. 1979;4(3):245–252. [PubMed]
  • Stitzer ML, Bigelow GE, Liebson I. Reducing drug use among methadone maintenance clients: contingent reinforcement for morphine-free urines. Addict Behav. 1980;5(4):333–340. [PubMed]
  • Stitzer ML, Griffiths RR, McLellan AT, Grabowski J, Hawthorne JW. Diazepam use among methadone maintenance patients: patterns and dosages. Drug Alcohol Depend. 1981 Nov;8(3):189–199. [PubMed]

Articles from Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis are provided here courtesy of Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior