Rewards encourage substance users to continue positive, healthy behaviors with increased frequency and duration. By identifying successful rewards, we can help shape progress toward treatment goals.  

How to Identify Successful Rewards

For rewards to be successful, they should serve as recognition for healthy behavior. Consider these factors when identifying fruitful rewards:

  • An individual’s previous success with recovery: Have they previously struggled along their treatment journey? Could rewards help motivate them past recurring hurdles?

  • Their last response to rewards: Have rewards acted as effective incentives in the past?

  • Their hobbies, preferred activities, or favorite foods: Rewards should be personalized. Understanding an individual’s interests, such as whether they like to read or enjoy a certain type of food, can help the reward connect on a personal level.

Making Rewards Accessible 

Rewards should take the form of low-cost incentives. The reward can be an activity they enjoy, such as movie night or bowling. However, non-monetary rewards, such as social recognition, can prove just as useful as monetary ones. 

While a reward can be a tangible object, you can opt for something more accessible like a congratulatory letter, too. Maybe turn rewards into something exciting by having them choose the prize for themselves. 

By understanding an individual’s interests and applying them to inexpensive and accessible incentives, you can form an effective rewards system.