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Contingency management (CM) is an effective treatment for substance use dependence. Within CM, rewards or vouchers promote continued abstinence by acting as alternative reinforcers to substance use. However, CM relies on the use of accurate biochemical verification methods, such as urinalysis, to verify abstinence. Synthetic cannabinoids (SCs) pose a risk for CM treatment because they are not easily detected by common urinalysis techniques. Although SCs pose a risk, there is limited information regarding current rates of SC use within substance dependent populations as well as rates of substance use and psychiatric disorders among those who use SCs in treatment. We discuss emerging research on these topics and potential implications for CM treatments. Findings suggest CM researchers should test for and query. SC use among those being treated for cannabis and cocaine use problems as well as among younger populations of substance users. Implications of other novel psychoactive substances for drug treatment and drug urinalysis are also discussed.

Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.