Rewarding recovery: how California will pay addicts to give up drugs – Financial Times

Patti Waldmeir writes in the Financial Times about California’s new program for contingency management to address the stimulant addiction crisis, and talked to Affect’s CEO, Kristin Muhlner, about our digital recovery app.

Affect Therapeutics is a digital treatment app for methamphetamine, crack and cocaine addiction that uses micropayments — as well as more traditional forms of telehealth therapy — to encourage recovery. Users may earn $3 for showing up on Zoom for a counselling call, or 15 cents for studying tips for better sleep — and they can watch their rewards add up in the app.

Ironically, the goal seems to be to make it just as addictive to abstain as to use: Kristin Muhlner, Affect’s chief executive, told the FT that the app relies on game design to “create a compulsion loop” that “draws people back daily or hourly”.

The US Department of Veterans Affairs, which provides healthcare to military veterans, has been rewarding veterans for recovering — a technique known as “contingency management” — for ten years. The only large-scale, long-term user of the treatment in the US, the VA says that of 5,700 veterans treated, 92 per cent of their 73,000 urine samples were negative for drugs.

Read the full article at the Financial Times