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Behav Pharmacol. 2000 Feb;11(1):87-91.

Alternative reinforcers differentially modify cocaine self-administration by humans.

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New York State Psychiatric Institute and Department of Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, New York, USA.


Six experienced cocaine smokers (two men, four women) participated in an inpatient study to compare self-administration of smoked cocaine when either a $5 money or merchandise voucher was available as an alternative reinforcer. A six-trial choice procedure was used, with sessions consisting of (1) one sample trial, where participants received the cocaine dose and the alternative reinforcer available that day, and (2) five choice trials, where participants chose between the available cocaine dose and the alternative reinforcer. There were eight sessions: in separate sessions, each dose of cocaine (0, 12, 25, 50 mg) was paired with a money voucher and with a merchandise voucher. The choice to self-administer cocaine significantly increased with escalating cocaine doses, and significantly less cocaine was self-administered when money vouchers were available as compared to merchandise vouchers. These data demonstrate that money vouchers are a more effective alternative reinforcer than merchandise vouchers in cocaine abusers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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