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1.  Professional Demeanor of Chronically Unemployed Cocaine-Dependent Methadone Patients in a Therapeutic Workplace 
Substance use & misuse  2007;42(7):1141-1159.
This study assesses the frequency that users of illicit drugs display unprofessional behaviors in an employment setting. This research was conducted in the Therapeutic Workplace, a model employment-based treatment program for chronically unemployed adults with long-histories of illicit drug use. Unemployed adults in methadone treatment, who were opiate and cocaine dependent, showed signs of injection drug use, and recently used cocaine were hired to work for 4 hours every weekday for 7 months. Results show that while the overall incidence of many undesirable behaviors is low, a small percentage of participants had serious workplace behavior problems that might limit their success in community workplaces. This study suggests that unprofessional behavior in the workplace could contribute to chronic unemployment in this population.
PMCID: PMC3072792  PMID: 17668330
Employment; Heroin Addiction; Cocaine Addiction; Contingency management; Reinforcement; Vocation rehabilitation
2.  Employment-based abstinence reinforcement following inpatient detoxification in HIV-positive opioid and/or cocaine-dependent patients 
Employment-based reinforcement interventions have been used to promote abstinence from drugs among chronically unemployed injection drug users. The current study utilized an employment-based reinforcement intervention to promote opiate and cocaine abstinence among opioid-dependent, HIV-positive participants who had recently completed a brief inpatient detoxification. Participants (n=46) were randomly assigned to an Abstinence & Work group that was required to provide negative urine samples in order to enter the workplace and earn incentives for work (n=16), a Work Only group that was permitted to enter the workplace and earn incentives independent of drug use (n=15), and a No Voucher control group that did not receive any incentives for working (n=15) over a 26-week period. The primary outcome was urinalysis-confirmed opiate, cocaine, and combined opiate/cocaine abstinence. Participants were 78% male and 89% African American. Results showed no significant between-group differences in urinalysis-verified drug abstinence or HIV risk behaviors during the 6-month intervention. The Work Only group had significantly greater workplace attendance and worked more minutes per day when compared to the No Voucher group. Several features of the study design, including the lack of an induction period, setting the threshold for entering the workplace too high by requiring immediate abstinence from several drugs, and increasing the risk of relapse by providing a brief detoxification that was not supported by any continued pharmacological intervention, likely prevented the workplace from becoming established as a reinforcer that could be used to promote drug abstinence. However, increases in workplace attendance have important implications for adult training programs.
PMCID: PMC4332775  PMID: 24490712
HIV; contingency management; therapeutic workplace; incentive; injection drug use
3.  Randomized Multi-site Trial of the Job Seekers’ Workshop in Patients with Substance Use Disorders 
Drug and alcohol dependence  2011;120(1-3):55-64.
Unemployment is associated with negative outcomes both during and after drug abuse treatment. Interventions designed to increase rates of employment may also improve drug abuse treatment outcomes. The purpose of this multi-site clinical trial was to evaluate the Job Seekers’ Workshop (JSW), a three session, manualized program designed to train patients in the skills needed to find and secure a job.
Study participants were recruited through the NIDA Clinical Trials Network (CTN) from six psychosocial counseling (n=327) and five methadone maintenance (n=301) drug treatment programs. Participants were randomly assigned to either standard care (program-specific services plus brochure with local employment resources) (SC) or standard care plus JSW. Three 4-hr small group JSW sessions were offered weekly by trained JSW facilitators with ongoing fidelity monitoring.
JSW and SC participants had similar 12- and 24-week results for the primary outcome measure (i.e., obtaining a new taxed job or enrollment in a training program), Specifically, one-fifth of participants at 12 weeks (20.1 – 24.3%) and nearly one-third at 24 weeks (31.4–31.9%) had positive outcomes, with “obtaining a new taxed job” accounting for the majority of cases.
JSW group participants did not have higher rates of employment/training than SC controls. Rates of job acquisition were modest for both groups, suggesting more intensive interventions may be needed. Alternate targets (e.g., enhancing patient motivation, training in job-specific skills) warrant further study as well.
PMCID: PMC3579551  PMID: 21802222
Substance Use Disorders; Vocational Rehabilitation; Treatment; Translational Research; Employment
4.  A Randomized Clinical Trial of a Therapeutic Workplace for Chronically Unemployed, Homeless, Alcohol-Dependent Adults 
Aims: To assess the efficacy of the Therapeutic Workplace, a substance abuse intervention that promotes abstinence while simultaneously addressing the issues of poverty and lack of job skills, in promoting abstinence from alcohol among homeless alcoholics. Methods: Participants (n = 124) were randomly assigned to conditions either requiring abstinence from alcohol to engage in paid job skills training (Contingent Paid Training group), offering paid job skills training with no abstinence contingencies (Paid Training group) or offering unpaid job skill training with no abstinence contingencies (Unpaid Training group). Results: Participants in the Contingent Paid Training group had significantly fewer positive (blood alcohol level ≥ 0.004 g/dl) breath samples than the Paid Training group in both randomly scheduled breath samples collected in the community and breath samples collected during monthly assessments. The breath sample results from the Unpaid Training group were similar in absolute terms to the Contingent Paid Training group, which may have been influenced by a lower breath sample collection rate in this group and fewer reported drinks per day consumed at intake. Conclusion: Overall, the results support the utility of the Therapeutic Workplace intervention to promote abstinence from alcohol among homeless alcoholics, and support paid training as a way of increasing engagement in training programs.
PMCID: PMC3156886  PMID: 21622676
5.  An Internet-Based Abstinence Reinforcement Smoking Cessation Intervention in Rural Smokers 
Drug and alcohol dependence  2009;105(1-2):56-62.
The implementation of cigarette smoking abstinence reinforcement programs may be hindered by the time intensive burden placed on patients and treatment providers. The use of remote monitoring and reinforcement of smoking abstinence may enhance the accessibility and acceptability of this intervention, particularly in rural areas where transportation can be unreliable and treatment providers distant. This study determined the effectiveness of an Internet-based abstinence reinforcement intervention in initiating and maintaining smoking abstinence in rural smokers. Sixty-eight smokers were enrolled to evaluate the efficacy of an Internet-based smoking cessation program. During the 6-week intervention period, all participants were asked to record 2 videos of breath carbon monoxide (CO) samples daily. Participants also typed the value of their CO readings into web-based software that provided feedback and reinforcement based on their smoking status. Participants (n=35) in the Abstinence Contingent (AC) group received monetary incentives contingent on recent smoking abstinence (i.e., CO of 4 parts per million or below). Participants (n=33) in the Yoked Control (YC) group received monetary incentives independent of smoking status. Participants in the AC group were significantly more likely than the YC group to post negative CO samples on the study website (OR = 4.56; 95% CI = 2.18–9.52). Participants assigned to AC were also significantly more likely to achieve some level of continuous abstinence over the 6-week intervention compared to those assigned to YC. These results demonstrate the feasibility and short-term efficacy of delivering reinforcement for smoking abstinence over the Internet to rural populations.
PMCID: PMC2743786  PMID: 19615830
Abstinence Reinforcement; Smoking Cessation; Rural; Randomized Controlled Trial; Tobacco; Cigarettes
6.  Employment-Based Abstinence Reinforcement as a Maintenance Intervention for the Treatment of Cocaine Dependence: A Randomized Controlled Trial 
Addiction (Abingdon, England)  2009;104(9):1530-1538.
Due to the chronic nature of cocaine dependence, long-term maintenance treatments may be required to sustain abstinence. Abstinence reinforcement is among the most effective means of initiating cocaine abstinence. Practical and effective means of maintaining abstinence reinforcement programs over time are needed.
Determine whether employment-based abstinence reinforcement can be an effective long-term maintenance intervention for cocaine dependence.
Participants (N=128) were enrolled in a 6-month job skills training and abstinence initiation program. Participants who initiated abstinence, attended regularly, and developed needed job skills during the first six months were hired as operators in a data entry business and randomly assigned to an employment only (Control, n = 24) or abstinence-contingent employment (n = 27) group.
A nonprofit data entry business.
Unemployed welfare recipients who persistently used cocaine while enrolled in methadone treatment in Baltimore.
Abstinence-contingent employment participants received one year of employment-based contingency management, in which access to employment was contingent on provision drug-free urine samples under routine and then random drug testing. If a participant provided drug-positive urine or failed to provide a mandatory sample, then that participant received a temporary reduction in pay and could not work until urinalysis confirmed recent abstinence.
Main Outcome Measure:
Cocaine-negative urine samples at monthly assessments across one year of employment.
During the one-year of employment, abstinence-contingent employment participants provided significantly more cocaine-negative urine samples than employment only participants (79.3% and 50.7%, respectively; p = 0.004, OR = 3.73, 95% CI = 1.60 – 8.69).
Employment-based abstinence reinforcement that includes random drug testing is effective as a long-term maintenance intervention, and is among the most promising treatments for drug dependence. Workplaces could serve as therapeutic agents in the treatment of drug dependence by arranging long-term employment-based contingency management programs.
Trial Registration: Identifier: NCT00249496
PMCID: PMC2729763  PMID: 19686522
Cocaine; Methadone; Employment; Contingency management; Abstinence reinforcement
7.  Attendance Rates in A Workplace Predict Subsequent Outcome of Employment-Based Reinforcement of Cocaine Abstinence in Methadone Patients 
This study assessed whether attendance rates in a workplace predicted subsequent outcome of employment-based reinforcement of cocaine abstinence. Unemployed adults in Baltimore methadone programs who used cocaine (N  =  111) could work in a workplace for 4 hr every weekday and earn $10.00 per hour in vouchers for 26 weeks. During an induction period, participants provided urine samples but could work independent of their urinalysis results. After the induction period, participants had to provide urinalysis evidence of cocaine abstinence to work and maintain maximum pay. A multiple regression analysis showed that induction period attendance was independently associated with urinalysis evidence of cocaine abstinence under the employment-based abstinence reinforcement contingency. Induction period attendance may measure the reinforcing value of employment and could be used to guide the improvement of employment-based abstinence reinforcement.
PMCID: PMC2606606  PMID: 19192855
abstinence reinforcement; cocaine addiction; contingency management; employment; methadone
8.  Economic Cost of the Therapeutic Workplace Intervention Added to Methadone Maintenance 
The therapeutic workplace is a novel intervention that uses access to paid training and employment to reinforce drug abstinence within the context of standard methadone maintenance. We used the Drug Abuse Treatment Cost Analysis Program as a standard method of estimating the economic costs of this intervention. Over a one-year period, the therapeutic workplace served 122 methadone maintenance clients who had a median length of stay of 22 weeks. The workplace maintained a mean daily census of 48 clients. The combined cost of methadone maintenance and the therapeutic workplace was estimated at $362 per week. This cost is less than other treatments that might be used to promote abstinence in individuals who continue to use drugs during methadone treatment. Given prior evidence of effectiveness, these cost data may be useful to policymakers, social service agencies, and researchers interested in using or further developing the therapeutic workplace intervention.
PMCID: PMC2423275  PMID: 17614239
Cost; Economics; DATCAP; substance abuse treatment; addiction treatment; unemployment
9.  A Randomized Trial of Employment-Based Reinforcement of Cocaine Abstinence in Injection Drug Users 
High-magnitude and long-duration abstinence reinforcement can promote drug abstinence but can be difficult to finance. Employment may be a vehicle for arranging high-magnitude and long-duration abstinence reinforcement. This study determined if employment-based abstinence reinforcement could increase cocaine abstinence in adults who inject drugs and use cocaine during methadone treatment. Participants could work 4 hr every weekday in a workplace where they could earn about $10.00 per hour in vouchers; they were required to provide routine urine samples. Participants who attended the workplace and provided cocaine-positive urine samples during the initial 4 weeks were invited to work 26 weeks and were randomly assigned to an abstinence-and-work (n  =  28) or work-only (n  =  28) group. Abstinence-and-work participants had to provide urine samples showing cocaine abstinence to work and maintain maximum pay. Work-only participants could work independent of their urinalysis results. Abstinence-and-work participants provided more (p  =  .004; OR  =  5.80, 95% CI  =  2.03–16.56) cocaine-negative urine samples (29%) than did work-only participants (10%). Employment-based abstinence reinforcement can increase cocaine abstinence.
PMCID: PMC1986688  PMID: 17970256
contingency management; abstinence reinforcement; cocaine addiction; methadone; drug abuse treatment; employment

Results 1-9 (9)