Clinical trial of abstinence-based vouchers and cognitive-behavioral therapy for cannabis dependence

J Consult Clin Psychol. 2006 Apr;74(2):307-16. doi: 10.1037/0022-006X.4.2.307.


Ninety cannabis-dependent adults seeking treatment were randomly assigned to receive cognitive-behavioral therapy, abstinence-based voucher incentives, or their combination. Treatment duration was 14 weeks, and outcomes were assessed for 12 months posttreatment. Findings suggest that (a) abstinence-based vouchers were effective for engendering extended periods of continuous marijuana abstinence during treatment, (b) cognitive-behavioral therapy did not add to this during-treatment effect, and (c) cognitive-behavioral therapy enhanced the posttreatment maintenance of the initial positive effect of vouchers on abstinence. This study extends the literature on cannabis dependence, indicating that a program of abstinence-based vouchers is a potent treatment option. Discussion focuses on the strengths of each intervention, the clinical significance of the findings, and the need to continue efforts toward development of effective interventions.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marijuana Abuse / therapy*
  • Token Economy*