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Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1992;107(4):523-9.

Conditioned responses to cocaine-related stimuli in cocaine abuse patients.

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Treatment Research Center, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 19104-6178.


Subjects with a history of free-basing and smoking cocaine but no history of opiate injections were exposed to three sets of stimuli. They received cocaine-related stimuli in one session, opiate-related stimuli in a second session, and non-drug stimuli on a third occasion. Compared to the opiate and non-drug cues, the cocaine-related events caused reliable decreases in skin temperature and skin resistance, and reliable increases in heart rate, self-reported cocaine craving, and self-reported cocaine withdrawal. Furthermore, control subjects lacking a history of cocaine or opiate use failed to show such differential responding. These results suggest that cocaine-related stimuli evoke Pavlovian conditioned responses in cocaine abuse patients. Such findings encourage continuing efforts to develop drug treatment strategies based on conditioning principles.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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