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Prior to beginning work on this discussion, read the 

Ethical Issues in Research Involving Participants with Opioid Use DisorderLinks to an external site.
 article and address the following in your initial post:

· Briefly describe the case study.

· Discuss the ethical implications of paying users of illicit drugs to participate in research studies.

Things to respond to



The case study discussed in Anderson and McNair’s (2018) article involves a research study that aimed to assess the effectiveness of a medication for opioid use disorder (OUD). The study enrolled participants who were actively using illicit drugs and had a history of OUD. The participants were randomized to receive either the medication being studied or a placebo, and they were followed to assess their drug use and other outcomes (Anderson & McNair, 2018). One of the ethical issues highlighted in the article is the practice of paying participants to enroll in the study. In this case, participants were compensated for their time and travel expenses. Still, they were also given monetary incentives for completing various study tasks and achieving specific outcomes, such as attending clinic visits and providing drug-free urine samples. This raises ethical questions about whether paying individuals with OUD to participate in research studies is appropriate, particularly when the payment is tied to their drug use behavior.


On the one hand, paying participants can be seen as a way to offset the financial burden of participating in research, as individuals with OUD may face significant social and economic challenges (Strang et al., 2020). Incentives can also help improve study retention and compliance, ultimately leading to more accurate and reliable data. However, paying individuals to engage in drug use behavior raises concerns about coercion and exploitation. Participants may feel pressured to use drugs to receive payment, which could compromise their autonomy and well-being. Furthermore, the use of monetary incentives in research involving individuals with OUD may perpetuate stigma and reinforce negative stereotypes about drug use. It may also create conflicts of interest for researchers and clinicians, who may prioritize study outcomes over the health and welfare of the participants.


In conclusion, while paying participants in research studies can be a valuable tool for recruitment and retention, it is essential to carefully consider the ethical implications of this practice, especially when it involves individuals with OUD. Researchers and institutional review boards should strive to balance the benefits and risks of incentives and ensure that participants’ autonomy and well-being are protected.




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