New Project in Oregon Uses Financial Incentives to Fight the Meth Addiction Issue

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 Oregon Health & Science University’s Dr Todd Korthuis (OHSU). The 2019-2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows that Oregon has the highest methamphetamine use rate among 12 and older persons. The stimulant can be smoked, snorted, injected, or swallowed.

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 behaviour 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.

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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.

New Project in Oregon Uses Financial Incentives to Fight the Meth Addiction Issue
New Project in Oregon Uses Financial Incentives to Fight the Meth Addiction Issue

“The most effective treatments for methamphetamine addiction are behavioural therapy,” NIDA states.

There are currently no drugs that counteract the specific effects of methamphetamine or that prolong abstinence from and minimise methamphetamine misuse.

In 2018, a trooper seized methamphetamine. The NIDA will give OHSU $3.17 million over five years. This funding will allow OHSU to provide money to community organisations focused on peer recovery, where addicts support others in difficulty. “Developing a methamphetamine intervention has spillover and benefits for other drugs,” stated Korthuis.

Research suggests that drug users take multiple substances. This harm-reduction push from the federal government is a recent move following decades of criminalising illicit drug use and stigmatising drug users. Harm reduction acknowledges drug use and engages drug users to prevent overdose and disease transmission, not abstinence.

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 Oregon Health & Science University’s Dr Todd Korthuis. Oregon’s top federal politicians support studying harm-reduction techniques.

Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley (D): “The opioid crisis’s impact is enormous.”

This grant to OHSU to study overdose prevention will help Oregon’s rural and minority communities tackle this crisis. I’ll keep working to help individuals in need and their communities. This NIDA grant is one of 10 countrywide through the HEAL Initiative.

“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 analyse project data. Rewarding behaviour changes is the most proven meth treatment, he said.

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“Study after study demonstrates that rewarding patients for meeting methamphetamine use disorder goals decreases usage, and enhances engagement, retention, and treatment,” Korthuis said. We reset our brains. These rewards compete with drug use. This can help people move ahead in treatment over time.

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