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Motivating the Brain Reward Center for Addiction Recovery

David R. Gastfriend, M.D., DFASAM


Among the behavioral approaches to treating substance use disorder, contingency management (CM) is the best-researched, most effective – and yet least utilized. While physiological approaches address withdrawal, craving, and peripheral drivers of addictive behavior and “talk therapies” engage the cortex and consciousness, the target of CM is the fundamental limbic drive center impact of substances of abuse on motivation. CM draws upon principles of operant conditioning, behavioral economics, and gamification. After a half-century of research, clinicians still have numerous concerns: ethics (is it enabling to pay patients money?), resources (where will the money come from?), testing (frequent and visually witnessed drug testing?), & management (who will do the intricate accounting?).

Technology can surmount each of these obstacles. Studies indicate that technology may enhance motivation, e.g., boosting effort in cognitive behavioral therapy, and supporting MAT adherence, and improve treatment attendance and retention.

This workshop will examine the research foundation for enhancing treatment outcomes using contingency management and technologies that help to overcome obstacles.

Learning objectives:

      • Describe the research foundation for enhancing treatment outcomes in patients with substance use disorders using contingency management.
      • Explain the obstacles that have prevented wide-spread adoption of contingency management in routine care.
      • Analyze the utility of various new technologies that have been proposed and implemented to overcome the obstacles to adoption of contingency management.

2 CEUs:   Ph.D., PharmD, LADC, CADC, LCSW, LPC, LMFT, and Case Management. Nursing documentation of participation.     Pre-registration is required.

Oklahoma LADC:  2.0 total CEUs approved (2.0 Alcohol and Drug Specific)

Kansas LPC & LCPC, Psychologist, LAC & LCAC – meets continuing education requirements for CEUs as described in K.A.R. 102.
Missouri Psychologist – Meets with continuing education requirements as described in Chapter 337.050, 12.(1)
Missouri Social Worker – Application was not made for approval.
Missouri LPC – Verification of training hours and attendance will be provided for required Missouri LPC Continuing Education reporting.
Arkansas Psychologist – Meets with continuing education requirements as described in Arkansas Psychology Board Rules and Regulations 2009, 9.1.A(2)(a).
Arkansas LPC,LADAC – This CE offering is not offered as an NBCC approved seminar.

Please check with your licensing board(s) for approval status.

About the Presenter

David R. Gastfriend, M.D., DFASAM

Dr. Gastfriend is an addiction psychiatrist. At Harvard Medical School, he directed addiction research at Massachusetts General Hospital and was an investigator in the NIDA Cocaine Collaborative Study, NIAAA’s COMBINE Study and NIDA’s Clinical Trials Network. As Vice President at Alkermes, Inc., he directed scientific publications on Vivitrol in clinical, criminal justice and health economics research.

His research led most states to endorse the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) Criteria. His 150 scientific publications include the books The ASAM Criteria and Addiction Treatment Matching. His ASAM CONTINUUM – The ASAM Criteria Decision Engine® and ASAM’s CO-Triage® tools are being adopted nationwide.

In 2016, he co-founded DynamiCare Health, a nationally-scalable technology for Contingency Management and predictive analytics, winning awards from Harvard Business School, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Governor of Ohio, and the New York Times. He has consulted to governments in Belgium, China, Iceland, Israel, Norway, Russia and the U.S.

Friday, November 11, 2022,  noon – 2:15 p.m.


Please check your “junk” or “spam” folder in addition to your inbox for your webinar access link.  Please log-in by 12:00 noon and remain in the session.  Workshop concludes at 2:15 p.m.

This is NOT a telephonic presentation.  Approvals for this event were based upon this being a live webinar with both video and audio feed.  You must be logged into the webinar, using the link provided in order to obtain the educational time credit.

Certificates of attendance will be distributed by Monday November 14 via email with a link for downloading a hard copy if desired.  Please check your “junk” or “spam” folder in addition to your inbox.