NPR Wildly Exaggerates Studies to say Paying Addicts Keeps them off Meth

This article has been cross-posted to the Gateway Pundit Fact Check Bureau at

  • Almost every study says that ‘contingency management’ makes a small positive impact on addicts staying clean for a few extra weeks, NPR exaggerates to say that paying addicts works and should be tried everywhere
  • The study linking NPR to their outrageous claims is absurdly broken
  • Left-wing worldview once again at odds with actual science and what studies actually say, pretty obvious unethical reporter didn’t even bother to read them

OUR RATE: Major Negligence MSNBCBasic journalistic negligence at a -level

The Indicted OutletApril Dembosky | National Public Radio| Link| Archive 9/30/21| 9/30/21

NPR’s only concern is with extreme leftist views. NPR avoids thinking about consequences and other alternatives. NPR is constitutionally incapable of considering alternative views, and that is once again clear in their recent article discussing California’s plan to pay drug addicts not to do drugs.

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It’s kind of the perfect neoliberal meme, so you know it’s all make-believe: if only the too-little-taxed rich gave more of their evil money to the needy deserving poor, they wouldn’t be using drugs to cope with their existential angst about late-stage capitalism. 

Too bad all the studies involved show that the impact is marginal or minor at best, but you’d never know that from reading April Dembosky’s article.

Major ViolationsThis is:

  • As Fact, Opinion
  • Unbalanced
  • Misrepresentation
  • Statistical Abuse
  • It is lacking context
  • Exaggeration

Here’s what Reporter Dembosky writes in NPR:

California state officials want better options for meth addiction and have appealed to federal regulators for contingency management to be made more accessible. Similar strategies are being explored by West Virginia, Montana and Washington.

Because studies show contingency management works. The principles of the treatment – positive reinforcement techniques, primarily – are used widely in weight loss, fitness programs, and in families, as parents coax their children into adopting good behaviors, rather than punishing them for poor behaviors.

Research shows contingency management is This is the best way to get treatmentcombined with behavioral therapy to treat meth and cocaine addiction.

The key phrase here is ‘contingency management’ when it comes to influencing behaviors. A more academic way is to use positive consequences. 

But part of the missing context is that those positive consequences don’t have to be financial in nature, that’s just part of the Legislative lobbyingThat is also part of the piece. 

Dembosky, Lobbyist/Reporter makes it very clear that she is motivated on the legislative front.

…state officials are desperate for more effective treatment options and are pursuing legislation and appealing to federal regulators to make contingency management more widely available. Similar strategies are being explored by West Virginia, Montana and Washington.

No doubt she’s been contacted and fed this story by someone looking to push and advance these stories. This is probably a PR flak for the chain of treatment centers that contract with the government, and who stands to profit handsomely from new contracts.

The link to the supposed study that proves Dembosky’s point? Do not wait. don’t tell me: yea, that link’s as broken as her ethics. [1]

It’s the most central claim in her article and the link doesn’t work. It’s a great idea.

Research shows contingency management is This is the best way to get treatmentFor meth and cocaine addiction

You can click it to see for yourself!

A BROKEN link is the most effective treatment. 


I dug into the studies and literature myself and tried to find answers on the efficacy of ‘contingency management’ on meth addiction. 

Here’s again the standard that NPR set on the topic:

…studies show contingency management works.

Now, this method might positively impact weight loss, or smoking, or addiction, but it seems a bit too strong to just say it ‘works’ because that implies that other methods do not work and it also suggests that these methods work completely. 

When you say or write that something works, you usually don’t mean that it works a little bit. You might say that it improves things slightly. You might find that it has a slight impact on your margins. A particular thing is able to solve a problem. It ‘works’ by being the solution to the problem.

According to the literature, NPR Reporter Dembosky may not have understood science or studies. Or she could be radically untrue in her descriptions of it. 


Below are some relevant studies on meth addiction. 

In 2006, the American Journal of Psychiatry tested 113 meth users. Those who got a slight benefit stayed in treatment for five weeks and stayed away from drugs for an average of three weeks. [2]

A 2007 literature review said that contingency management was a ‘good candidate for inclusion’ and still noted that other non-financial similar practices were deployed to be positive feedback for not using drugs, and that there had not been relevant long-term studies. [3]

This 2019 study in Malaysia interviewed 7 meth addicts and asked them for about 45 minutes each whether they liked receiving free stuff when they didn’t do meth. The free stuff was a big hit with them all. [4]  

The 2020 literature review included 27 reviews. 20 of the 21 that reported their findings in a useful way found that there was a positive impact of ‘contingency management’ on outcomes. However, it was not clear how large this benefit actually occurred. [5] 

What is the impact of contingency management in meth addiction? They might live for two additional weeks instead of the usual three-week period without having to relapse. Meth is a horrible drug and that’s great and all, but that’s not nearly the same as what NPR wrote when they exaggerated saying that it works and exists as a standalone treatment to solve addiction. 

NPR created the Left-wing fantasyland of vulnerable poor drug addicts receiving help from big sweet unicorn tooth fairies, who provide benevolent tax dollars in order to ease the stress of capitalism. This is supported by science that has spoken. 

Yet again the mainstream media deceived us. It’s almost as though they don’t know how to do anything else, they’re compulsively dishonest, deceitful, and unethical. April Dembosky (NPR) and April Dembosky have a tendency to lie in order to promote a particular political agenda.

OUR RATE: Major Negligence MSNBCBasic journalistic negligence at a -level

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