• ADHD books published by NorthEast Books & Publishing, by Association for Youth, Children and Natural Psychology
  • ADHD books published by NorthEast Books & Publishing, by Association for Youth, Children and Natural Psychology


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Chasing the High: A Firsthand Account of One Young Person's Experience with Substance Abuse (Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands' Adolescent Mental Health Initiative), by Kyle Keegan, Howard Moss

Kyle Keegan was like many teenagers: eager to fit in at school, he experimented with alcohol and drugs. Soon, his abuse of these substances surpassed experimentation and became a ruthless addiction to heroin that nearly destroyed his life.

Now in recovery, Keegan tells his remarkable story in Chasing the High. Starting with the early days of alcohol and drug use, Keegan charts his decline into crime and homelessness as his need for heroin surpassed all thoughts of family and friends, of right and wrong. He then goes on to use these experiences to offer guidance and practical advice to other young people who may be struggling with substance abuse.

Part of the Adolescent Mental Health Initiative series of books written specifically for teens and young adults, Chasing the High offers hope to young people who are struggling with substance abuse, helping them to overcome its challenges and to go on to lead healthy, productive lives.

Substance Abuse: Information for School Counselors, Social Workers, Therapists, and Counselors (4th Edition) by Gary L. Fisher, Thomas C. Harrison

Weaving actual clinical examples with solid research, Substance Abuse continues to provide counseling, social work, and other students with a detailed overview of the alcohol and other drug (AOD) field. Now in its Third Edition, this text provides updated coverage and practical clinical examples to reflect the rapid changes in the field of addiction.

Page updated November 18, 2015

Contingency Management for Substance Abuse Treatment: A Guide to Implementing This Evidence-Based Practice

Psychology Book Review

Contingency Management can be effective in the classroom and in substance abuse recovery / treatment settings, especially with adolescents. Contingency Management expert Nancy Petry provides a definition of Contingency Management as follows, "the systematic reinforcement of desired behaviors and the withholding of reinforcement or punishment of undesired behaviors, is an effective strategy in the treatment of alcohol and other drug (AOD) use disorders." More simply, in CM, provision is made for rewards or granting privileges for specific positive behaviors. The idea of CM was first formerly applied in animal research, but research in controlled settings in affecting changes in human behavior have shown evidence that it is an effective adjunct therapy, complimentary to other forms of therapy already being implemented.

Petry states in Psychiatric Times that the concept of Contingency Management (CM) is often used by parents when they provide or withhold an allowance contingent upon the child performing certain household tasks such as making their own bed or keeping their grades up. CM is implemented in the classroom by some teachers on a limited basis, a pizza party at the end of the week if the class as a whole meets certain behavioral expectations, rewards from the school at the end of the year for perfect attendance or academic achievements.

The primary idea in Petry's book Contingency Management for Substance Abuse Treatment: A Guide to Implementing This Evidence-Based Practice, is with respect to use in substance abuse treatment in a clinical setting, but also has broader application in any type of controlled or clinical setting with adults or adolescents.

To be effectively used in a clinical setting, Contingency Management must be carefully managed with a strict and well-implemented protocol

CM, according to Petry's research, while used in a clinical setting for several decades, is underutilized and needs to be implemented according to stricter protocol in order to be effective. Petry addresses most if not all potential issues involved with CM in a clinical setting, including costs and controlling costs, using scientific studies/evidence to support her suggestions or as a basis for her suggestions.

The book addresses CM on two fronts, in general terms, which can provide some good ideas for anyone involved with addressing behavioral issues including parents and teachers, especially teachers in settings involving marginal youth. But the book also provides specific and detailed guidance for effective implementation of CM in a clinical or other controlled setting. She discusses problems that can occur, addressed possible ethical objections, and provides evidence for increased probability of long-term positive outcomes, with sometimes dramatic statistical increase of success-rate using this CM in conjunction with other methods. CM is described as complimentary rather than a replacement for other therapies.

The book is easy to read and interesting, is not filled with personal or anecdotal case studies, but draws more on evidence and scientific studies. She details the results and methods of these studies, critically analyzes the strength and weaknesses of historical and current clinical studies. Petry's research has much value for anyone involved with substance abuse treatment or mental health treatment, and especially with adolescents. It has specific and broad application.

References for Contingency Management and Substance Abuse Treatment

Contingency Management - Incentives for Sobriety, (1999). Stephen T. Higgins, Ph.D., and Nancy M. Petry, Ph.D. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Contingency Management for Substance Abuse: A Practical Guide to Implementing This Empirically-based Treatment, (2011). Nancy Petry, Ph.D. Rutledge

Contingency Management in Addiction Treatment, (February 1, 2002). Nancy Petry, M.D. Psychiatric Times

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