California leaders wanted the state to be the first state to pay drug addicts to stay sober. The leaders are trying something radical to solve the recent surge in drug overdose deaths. 

California's Radical Drug Addiction Solution

According to Associated Press, the federal government has been doing the incentive program with the military veterans for years. 

Based on research, it is one of the most effective ways in getting individuals to stop using drugs or stimulants like cocaine and methamphetamine, which still do not have pharmaceutical treatments available.

Based on the program, people could earn small incentives or payments for every negative drug test that they would present over a period of time. 

Most individuals who would be completing the treatment without any positive tests could earn a few hundred dollars. They usually get the money in the form of a gift card. The program was called "contingency management.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has asked the federal government for permission to use tax dollars to pay for it through Medicaid, which is the joint state and federal health insurance program for the poor and disabled that covers almost 14 million people in the state, ABC News reported.

There was a similar proposal moving through the Democratic-controlled Legislature of California. The proposal already passed the Senate with no opposition and is currently pending in the Assembly. The proposal also has a Republican co-author.

State Sen. Scott Wiener, a Democrat from San Francisco and the bill's author, noted that there's a lot in the new strategy that everyone has to like, but the most important was "it works."

The budget for the said program would depend on how many individuals would participate. A program that would cover 1,000 individuals would estimate cost $286,000, an amount that's considered pittance in the total operating budget of more than $262 billion of the state.

Furthermore, there is "clear and convincing evidence" that the treatment works in keeping people sober from drugs like methamphetamine and cocaine, based on the analysis by the California Health Benefits Review Program.

However, while research shows it effectively keeps people sober during the program, its downside was its duration. The effect doesn't last much beyond six months after treatment concludes.

READ NEXT: Georgia Man 'Randomly' Shot, Killed Tourist Eating Dinner With Family in Miami Beach, Danced Over Body

Something New for Sobriety

A former member of the program acknowledged that the program did not work for everybody. However, he noted that his treatment in the program that included extensive group and individual counseling sessions kept him accountable for things and made him feel part of a community.

The former member of the program also considered the treatment a success even if people don't make it without a positive test. He added that at least the leaders were trying something new. 

If California would start paying for the contingency management treatment through Medicaid, there would be similar programs across the state.

READ MORE: Hundreds of California Recall Ballots, Drugs, Loaded Gun Discovered in Felon's Car: Police

This article is owned by Latin Post

Written by: Jess Smith

WATCH: Bill Proposed To Offer Financial Rewards To Meth Users To Stay Sober - From CBS Sacramento