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Need Motivation to...
Lose Weight, Quit Smoking, Start Working Out, Clean Out the Garage?

Have you heard about StickK? It's an on-line tool to help you reach your goals.  Stickk.com is a website with free registration where you can set a personal goal, make a commitment contract, and track your progress. 

So, the registration is free and you can have a coach or a network of friends keep you on track, but StickK is following
academic research that has shown that if you commit to giving away a certain amount of money when you fail to meet your commitment, it can help increase the likelihood you will stay on track! 

You can choose to donate to a charitable organization that's aligned with your values or a non-friendly organization. So, imagine you're a peacenik, and if you don't meet your two pound weight loss goal your pledge goes to the gun-totin' NRA. Or, you might bargain with a friend that if you don't clean out the garage this weekend, you owe him $20.  Not likely you'll want to face that defeat.

It's a great idea.  The letter "K" is shorthand for "contract" when used in legal writing, hence the extra K in their name.  Visit www.stickk.com for more info.   Counselors could help patients set this up, and it might be a helpful tool to reach goals that are set collaboratively. 

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Adamma Interview Photos

Out and About at Mountain Manor Treatment Center... Recently, I had a chance to talk with Adamma Anumba, a research assistant with the designated title of Prize Specialist. She was appointed by the Director of Mountain Manor, Dr. Marc Fishman, to help run an incentive program for new and current patients--adolescents with substance use disorders-- using the Motivational Incentive Software System for tracking, which is part of the MI-Presto (Motivational
Incentives--A Proven Approach to Treatment ), a NIDA/SAMSHA Blending Product

The participants are being incentivized to attend group and there are bonus draws for negative urinalysis or "staying clean". Initially, Adamma's job included shopping for prizes, meeting with the participants at break time for draws and awarding
prizes, and keeping up-to-date data on demographics, attendance and prize inventory. The young men and women get to
do their own computerized flip coin toss and Adamma says they like that because they feel it can't be rigged. Enthusiasm
has increased now that they now exactly how to earn draws and win small, medium, and jumbo prizes.

As the number of groups using this program increased, it was necessary to train counselors how to work with participants
using a laptop with the downloaded system. Ms. Anumba then took on the role of training the counselors while still overseeing the implementation and maintaining prize inventory. The kids like small prizes of snacks, and gift cards to McDonald's or
Best Buy for medium prizes. Ronald Cann, a counselor who has learned how to use the system, agreed that once you
learn the software it is really helpful and a time-saver.

With Dr. Stitzer's guidance, the Mid-Atlantic Node has offered initial financial support to identify if the Mi-Presto Blending Package software (MISS) could be adapted to incentives in a group setting.

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