A New Project in Oregon is Using Financial Incentives to Combat Meth Addiction
Financial Incentives: Financial incentives are part of a new effort to fight methamphetamine addiction in Oregon.
“Methamphetamine has long been the main drug in Oregon and much of the west coast,” says Dr. Todd Korthuis of Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). According to the 2019-2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, Oregon has the highest rate of methamphetamine use among people aged 12 and up. The stimulant can be inhaled, smoked, snorted, injected, or ingested.
New Project in Oregon Uses Financial Incentives to Fight the Meth Addiction Issue
NIDA is sponsoring Korthuis and OHSU to bring more people into treatment. Contingency management is being tested. This therapy approach involves giving substance abusers minor incentives for changing their behavior to facilitate recovery. In this scenario, OHSU will provide $200 annual rewards – generally in the form of local retail gift cards – to test the concept in community-based settings. Including rural Oregon.
OHSU’s effort will connect peers in recovery with meth users. Co-using methamphetamine and opiates increase the danger of overdose, especially in rural areas, says Korthuis. “Behavioral therapy is the most effective treatment for methamphetamine addiction,” according to the NIDA.
There are currently no drugs that can counteract the specific effects of methamphetamine or that can prolong abstinence and reduce methamphetamine misuse.
A trooper seized methamphetamine in 2018. The NIDA will provide $3.17 million to OHSU over a five-year period. This funding will enable OHSU to provide funds to community organizations focused on peer recovery, in which addicts help others in need. “Creating a methamphetamine intervention has spillover and benefits for other drugs,” Korthuis explained.
According to research, drug users consume multiple substances. The federal government’s push for harm reduction comes after decades of criminalizing illicit drug use and stigmatizing drug users. Harm reduction, rather than abstinence, acknowledges drug use and engages drug users to prevent overdose and disease transmission.
Over 107,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2021, a new record in the nation’s substance misuse pandemic. One overdose fatality every 5 minutes, according to CDC data. It’s 15% higher than last year’s record. “True We’re aiming to improve people’s lives so they can be happy, healthy, contributing members of society “Korthuis.
Abstinence helps. That’s an objective. If we can reduce the overdose pandemic by getting people to use less, that’s a gain. Peer mentors will hold users accountable for meeting harm reduction targets, said Korthuis.
“Methamphetamine has long been the main drug in Oregon and much of the west coast,” says Dr. Todd Korthuis of Oregon Health & Science University. Oregon’s top federal politicians support research into harm-reduction methods. “The opioid crisis has had a massive impact,” says Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley (D).
This grant to OHSU for overdose prevention research will assist Oregon’s rural and minority communities in dealing with this crisis. I will continue to work to assist individuals in need and their communities. This NIDA grant is one of ten available across the country through the HEAL Initiative.
— My Path 2 Recovery (@MyPath2Recovery) December 23, 2022
“Too many Oregonians and their loved ones know the misery and danger of opioid use,” said Sen. Ron Wyden (D). These federal funds will allow OHSU to employ research and science to help communities affected by this epidemic. I’ll keep fighting to reduce Oregon’s opioid abuse and addiction.
Korthuis and his team will analyze project data. Rewarding behavior changes is the most proven meth treatment, he said.
“Study after study shows that rewarding patients for meeting methamphetamine use disorder goals reduce usage while increasing engagement, retention, and treatment,” said Korthuis. We reprogrammed our brains. These incentives compete with drug use. This can help people progress through treatment.
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