Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Why paying people to stay off drugs is a good idea

 Here is a piece from the Washington Post about a program that pays people to stay off drugs. 

"Buswell, 21, was enrolled in a program with a radically simple premise: Get paid to abstain from drugs. The approach, known as “contingency management,” or CM, has racked up a slew of successes. It has been shown to dramatically reduce people’s smoking during pregnancy and to help decrease binge drinking. It is also highly promising for combating methamphetamine addictions."

Contingency management refers to a set of behavioral change techniques that use positive reinforcement. These techniques derived from behavioral psychology and have a much higher success rate than most other approaches. Unfortunately these techniques are not widely used, largely because people either don't know about them or misunderstand them. In the future, I intend to write more about how we can make better use of positive reinforcement to effect better social outcomes. 

1 comment:

  1. I am not sure that I buy paying people will help stay off drugs.How do you explain all the crime surrounding drugs. If you rob someone to get $100 for drugs, then why would paying them $100 not go toward drug use. I think someone is skewing the data