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Addiction. 2007 Dec;102(12):1863-70.

Self-administration of drugs in animals and humans as a model and an investigative tool.

Author information

1
Preclinical Pharmacology Section, Behavioral Neuroscience Research Branch, Intramural Research Program, National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH/DHHS, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA.

Abstract

AIM:

To review briefly the methods, assumptions, models, accomplishments, drawbacks and future directions of research using drug self-administration in animals and humans.

BACKGROUND:

The use of drug self-administration to study addiction is based on the assumption that drugs reinforce the behavior that results in their delivery. A wide range of drug self-administration techniques have been developed to model specific aspects of addiction. These techniques are highly amenable to being combined with a wide variety of neuroscience techniques.

CONCLUSIONS:

The identification of drug use as behavior that is reinforced by drugs has contributed greatly to the understanding and treatment of addiction. As part of a program of pre-clinical research that also involves screening with a variety of simpler behavioral techniques, drug self-administration procedures can provide an important last step in testing potential treatments for addiction. There is currently a concerted effort to develop self-administration procedures that model the extreme nature of the behavior engendered by addiction. As advances continue to be made in neuroscience techniques, self-administration should continue to provide a means of applying these techniques within a sophisticated and valid model of human drug addiction.

PMID:
18031422
PMCID:
PMC2695138
DOI:
10.1111/j.1360-0443.2007.02011.x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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