The Biden administration appears to clear the underutilized harm reduction technique, i.e., to provide money to the drug addicts to stay clean.
This harm-reduction technique is known as contingency management. The process includes distributing small payments to the person addicted to drugs after meeting specific goals to stay clean, as reported in the Washington Post.
Earlier, this technique has been used to lose weight, quit smoking, and do other unwanted behaviors. The decades of research show that providing repeated small payments to the recovering person has an outsize impact on staying sober.
Last week, the Inspector General’s office for the Department of Health and Human Services posted an advisory that permits a Boston-based company to not face any criminal offense by paying the people suffering from drug addiction.
The new ruling allows the company to pay clients a maximum of $599. this is seen as a sharp increase from the $75 limit the government had previously observed.
Many experts considered the limit set by the government as too low to be effective. Dynamic, the company responsible for the research, chose $599 because it is the most a client can receive without paying taxes on the money, as reported in the Washington Post.
Dynamic is a digital health company that has moved this contingency management to a phone-based app. Over the past few years in the trials, clients were required to carry saliva-based drug test kits and selected for tests at random times.
The tests are conducted in front of the mobile camera to make the tests more authentic. The company personnel watches themselves, according to Gastfriend, an addiction specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is also a co-founder of the company.
Gastfriend then partnered with the National Council for Mental Wellbeing to develop DynamiCare’s strategy and legal approach. The new ruling clarifies that the company uses the same contingency management plan for opioids, nicotine, and alcohol says the Washington Post report.