Ammunition for Fighting a Demand-Side War on Drugs: A Review of Contingency Management in Substance Abuse Treatment

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Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis






Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior

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In March, 2007, U.S. President George W. Bush completed a five-nation tour of Latin America. Many of these nations are on the front lines of the decades-old U.S. war on drugs. As many readers are aware, a major component of the strategy employed by the U.S. in fighting this war has been what economists call supplyside efforts. The strategy is simple: If one can reduce the supply of drugs on U.S. streets, this will drive prices up and, as any economist will tell you, as price goes up, consumption declines. Thus, the U.S. spends over a billion dollars annually eradicating coca fields in Columbia, breaking up drug cartels in Mexico, and arresting and imprisoning drug dealers in the U.S. This supply-side strategy has strained relations between the U.S. and its allies. Afghanistan’s President Hammed Karzi, for example, recently refused U.S. pressure to allow herbicidal spraying of its poppy fields under fear of popular uprisings against the Kabul government. Similarly, Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon recently complained to President Bush that Mexican officials are putting their lives on the line in the drug war while the U.S. makes little more than “symbolic gestures” to curb its insatiable appetite for drugs.


Originally published by the Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. Publisher's PDF available through remote link.
Note: Greg Madden was affiliated with the University of Kansas at time of publication.