Cash is King –
April 20, 2020 – In a report on the study, described in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health online Feb. 21, the investigators say their intervention could be used widely in low-income neighborhoods as a way to promote employment, reduce drug use and help those ravaged by the opioid crisis better integrate back into their communities.
“We were hoping to have a positive result from our study, but I don’t think we expected it to work quite so well,” says August Holtyn, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Holtyn says this financial stimulus was the brainchild of Kenneth Silverman, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. For more than two decades, he has been developing therapeutic workplace strategies to help promote employment while reducing drug use.
For this study, the research team recruited 91 participants from the Center for Learning and Health on the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center campus in Baltimore, Maryland. The participants were ages 21 to 74 and were paid $8 an hour with an optional $2 bonus as they went through three months of job training and drug testing. All participants were then invited to work with an employment specialist to help them get a job in the community.
About 56% of the participants were African American, about 40% were white and 55% were men. All participants were being treated with methadone or buprenorphine for opioid dependence.