Motivating methadone patients to include drug-free significant others in treatment: A behavioral intervention

Michael Kidorf, Robert K. Brooner, Van L. King

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The present study introduced a novel behavioral approach for encouraging methadone-treated patients to bring drug-free significant other support into treatment. Seventy-five patients referred to high-intensity psychosocial treatment due to chronic drug use were given 3 weeks to identify a drug-free significant other. Patients noncompliant with this intervention were started on a methadone dose taper that was stopped when significant other support was identified. Patients and their significant others were required to attend a significant other group one time per week for a minimum of 6 weeks. Eighty- five percent of the patients brought a drug-free significant other into treatment. Significant others included family members, partners, and friends. Patients who identified significant other support complied with 77% of their scheduled sessions. The results demonstrated that most methadone patients have drug-free support people who are willing to participate in their treatment. These individuals can be utilized to help patients initiate the process of building new drug-free social support networks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-28
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Contingency management
  • Methadone treatment
  • Opioid abuse
  • Significant others
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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