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Drug Test Lab


Colorado Home Drug Testing - Evidence Based

Success Rates & Protocols

    Colorado Home Drug Testing was created with the goal of emulating the worlds best backed protocols for helping people struggling with addiction and substance use. One of these programs is the HIMS program for commercial airline pilots. It is often revered as the most effective substance use and addiction treatment protocol ever developed. As noted in one study:

    "The success rates are quite high for those who participate in the HIMS program. The three-year success rate is approximately 95% with an estimated lifetime abstinence rate of 88% to 90%" (Franzos, 2012, Hankes, 2013).


    The two core features of the extended component of HIMS are randomized drug & alcohol testing as well as ongoing clinical involvement by way of the group therapist. As explained in the paper, Airline Pilots in Recovery from Alcoholism:

    "There may be several components to a pilot’s monitoring program following treatment. Primarily for the pilots in the HIMS program this includes the abstinence testing conducted by the HIMS Independent Medical Sponsor (IMS) or the company and monitoring the pilot’s progress in recovery. Once there is a strong record of recovery as evidenced by quarterly reports the FAA may either release the pilot from the special issuance program or reduce aftercare requirements. To assist in this decision process, the FAA requires that the group therapist provide a description of the therapy process. The report includes a discussion of the critical issues affecting the pilot’s sobriety and report of any adverse change in the pilot’s behavior (HIMS, 2013). In order to retain a medical certificate pilots in the HIMS program must remain abstinent (Bryman, 2012). A very effective component of monitoring are the random testing programs in place at all air carriers. The sophistication and longer look-back period of FAA approved tests (including hair-sample) discourage relapse and will most likely identify pilots who do." (Kalfus & Riccitello, 2013).

Positive Reinforcement - Contingency Management

    Colorado Home Drug Testing also incorporates Positive Reinforcement or as its known clinically, Contingency Management. Contingency Management is a behavioral treatment based on operant conditioning principles where people are rewarded for positive behavior. As explained in the paper, A Review of the Use of Positive Reinforcement in Drug Courts:

    "Contingency Management (CM), an Operant Conditioning technique, has been found to be one of the most effective methods for changing behaviors, especially substance use (add refs Chambless & Ollendick, 2001). Specifically, CM is an evidence-based practice that has been shown to be highly effective in treating substance use disorders" (e.g. Budney, Higgins, Radonovich, & Novy, 2000; Roll, Higgins, & Badger, 1996; Petry, Martin, Cooney, & Kranzler, 2000; Bickel, Amass, Higgins, Badger, & Esch, 1997; Stitzer, Iguchi, & Felch, 1992; Silverman et al., 1996). "However, regardless of overwhelming empirical support of its efficacy, many substance abuse programs fail to use CM in routine practice" (Kirby, Benishek, Dugosh, & Kerwin, 2006).

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