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Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1989;98(3):357-62.

Repeated exposures intensify rather than diminish the rewarding effects of amphetamine, morphine, and cocaine.

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1
Department of Psychology, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Canada.

Abstract

It is commonly believed that repeated exposures diminish the pleasurable effects of drugs and hence that pleasure must have only a minor role in addiction. In six experiments with rats, repeated exposures to amphetamine, morphine, or cocaine were found to enhance the drug-induced rewarding effect as measured by conditioned place preference. Thus, sensitization to the rewarding effect, rather than tolerance, was obtained. Also, cross-sensitization was obtained; exposures to amphetamine enhanced the rewarding effect of morphine and vice versa; similarly, exposures to morphine enhanced the rewarding effect of cocaine. These findings support a new theory: drugs of abuse are addictive because repeated exposures sensitize the central reward mechanism so that drug taking produces a progressively greater reinforcing effect each time it occurs.

PMID:
2546170
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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