com-60-3-388

com-60-3-388 - Journal of Comparative and Physiol 1965 Vol...

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Journal of Comparative and Physiol 1965, Vol. 60, No. 3, 388-392 SUSCEPTIBILITY TO READDICTION AS A FUNCTION OF THE ADDICTION AND WITHDRAWAL ENVIRONMENTS 1 TRAVIS THOMPSON AN.D WARREN OSTLUND, JR. University of Minnesota Rats were orally addicted to morphine sulfate, experienced 30 days of with- drawal, and were readdicted. Vz the Ss experienced withdrawal in the same environment as that in which addiction occurred and Vz in a different en- vironment. Each of the withdrawal groups was subdivided and readdicted in either the same or different environments. Ss readdicted in the same en- vironment in which original addiction occurred readdicted more rapidly than those readdicted in a new environment. Initial preference for morphine during readdiction was greater for Ss that had experienced withdrawal in a different environment from that in which readdiction occurred. Organisms which have become physically dependent on opiate drugs can be returned to a relatively drug-free state by forced abstinence from the drug (Himmelsbach, 1941-43. Despite the disappearance of the physical symptoms which occur during the with- drawal period, the tendency to consume the drug is not equally diminished. This be- havioral dependence 2 on drugs is thought by some writers to be responsible for the high rate of readdiction in human "post- addicts." While the factors controlling such behavioral dependence are unknown, ex- perienced clinical investigators have sug- gested the importance of the environment in which the patient experiences withdrawal and of the environment to which the post- addict returns (Nyswander, 1956; Wikler, 1953). Evidence accumulated over the past dec- ade clearly indicates that infrahuman drug 1 This research was supported in part by Re- search Grants MH-08670 and MH-8565 from the National Institute of Mental Health to the Uni- versity of Minnesota and by a General Research Support grant from the Medical Graduate Group Committee of the University of Minnesota to the first author. 2 The term "psychic dependence," which has been widely used in the clinical literature, is un- fortunate. Historically, the term has been used to describe phenomena which are unobservable and refractory to objective analysis. Since the present research is focused on observable behavior and the dependence under consideration resides in the behavior of the experimental animals, we will use the term "behavioral dependence." dependence created by self-administration comes about through a conditioning process comparable to the acquisition of behavior leading to food reinforcement or shock 1956; Thompson & Schuster, 1964; Weeks, I960). The similarity between drug-rein- forced behavior and the more commonly studied appetitively and aversively main- tained responses remains to be demon- strated. The present study analyzes readdic- tion as a special case of reacquisition, much
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com-60-3-388 - Journal of Comparative and Physiol 1965 Vol...

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