A plan to provide incentives to drug users on methadone for heroin addiction, on the likes of shopping vouchers, might be a way to encourage drug users to give up the habit, a draft guidance has indicated.
Such incentive schemes employed in the past, in the United States, have always proved worthy. As per the plan suggested, users should be given compensation, if their urine or blood sample proves abstinence from heroin. Further, the rewards would gradually go up as per the length of abstinence. On the same lines, if a sample showed positive for drugs, the rewards would drop to the former level.
Nearly 5,000 drug users from the United States have participated in schemes which go with a reward. According to Stephen Pilling, joint director of the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health, "They felt much looked after. It is a move from an emphasis on monitoring and controlling people to one where you are taking a more positive and rewarding approach."
For those suffering health problems alongside of drug use, rewards up to £10 of shopping vouchers, has been recommended. At a later stage, incentives could also be in the form of assistance with basic needs of individuals - employment, housing and training.