Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Pain Symptom Manage. 1994 Oct;9(7):462-73.

Cold-pressor pain tolerance in opiate and cocaine abusers: correlates of drug type and use status.

Author information

  • 1Drug Abuse Research Center, University of California-Los Angeles.


The objective of this study was to describe pain tolerance in drug abusers. Research suggests that drug dependence and pain perception share common neuroanatomical and neurophysiological substrates; thus the abuse of psychoactive drugs was hypothesized to relate to pain tolerance. We examined cold-pressor pain tolerance in 122 male, current and former opioid and cocaine abusers, across use status and primary drug of abuse. Descriptive analyses showed that the ratio of pain-sensitive to pain-tolerant persons was considerably higher than that described in the normative cold-pressor pain literature. Two-way analysis of variance revealed a significant main effect for using status, indicating that current drug use is associated with decreased pain tolerance. The main effect for drug type approached significance, implying that persons who abuse opioids manifest less pain tolerance than cocaine users. The findings emphasize the importance of studying pain tolerance and drug abuse as interrelated phenomena.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk