Giving Compass' Take:

• According to Vanessa McMains at Futurity, a recent study proved the benefits of improved wages on reducing drug abuse among opioid users.

• Improved wages creates a higher incentive to find and maintain a job. How might a steady job benefit those struggling with drug abuse? How can you help create awareness around the effect of jobs on limiting drug abuse?

• Read about how opioids are impacting academics for students across America.

Adding $8 an hour to the paychecks of people with opioid addiction may help those in recovery stay drug free longer, a new study shows.

That extra money may also encourage them to get and hold regular jobs.

Poverty is an independent risk factor for drug abuse that treatment plans largely ignore, the researchers say.

As reported in in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, the researchers say their intervention could be used widely in low-income neighborhoods as a way to promote employment, reduce drug use, and help those ravaged by the opioid crisis better integrate back into their communities.

“We were hoping to have a positive result from our study, but I don’t think we expected it to work quite so well,” says August Holtyn, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

For this study, the research team recruited 91 participants from the Center for Learning and Health on the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center campus in Baltimore, Maryland. They paid participants, ages 21 to 74, $8 an hour with an optional $2 bonus as they went through three months of job training and drug testing.

All participants underwent regular urine screens three times each week that became more intermittent if the person remained drug-free.

During the yearlong intervention, 65% of people with wage supplements provided urine samples free of opioids and cocaine, compared to 45% of those without wage supplements.

People with wage supplements were also 2.9 times more likely to get a job and 2.7 times more likely to rise out of poverty by the end of the year than those without wage supplements.

Read the full article about wages and opioid drug abuse by Vanessa McMains at Futurity.