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Effects of dose and time on the ability of alcohol to prime social drinkers

journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-07, 18:54 authored by A K Rose, Dora Duka
Interoceptive drug cues, through associations with the drug's reinforcing properties, may act as conditioned stimuli and elicit conditioned responses. For instance, a dose of alcohol, given to alcohol-experienced people, can lead to an enhancement of alcohol drinking, a phenomenon known as the priming effect. The present study aimed to investigate the alcohol priming effect in non-dependent social drinkers with respect to the dose of alcohol preload and the time of testing after preload. Fifteen social drinkers participated in five daily consecutive sessions. On days 1 and 2 (training sessions), participants consumed a 500 ml beverage of either 0.6 g/kg of alcohol or placebo (50 ml aliquots) presented in 10 colour-coded cups. During days 3, 4 and 5 (testing sessions), a preload of placebo, 0.3 or 0.6 g/kg of alcohol was given (in randomized sequence) in 10 opaque colourless cups. Thirty, 60 and 90 min following the preload, participants responded to an imagery script referring to the drinks sampled at training including a question on the number of aliquots participants would consume from each of the drinks if given the opportunity (hypothetical choice). Participants completed questionnaires evaluating mood and alcohol desires at baseline (before the beverages were given) and after the hypothetical choice. The hypothetical choice showed significant interactions between dose and time: the greatest number of alcohol aliquots were wanted 30 min following the 0.6 g/kg dose of alcohol preload. Ratings from the Desires for Alcohol Questionnaire also showed that alcohol desires peaked 30 min following the 0.6 g/kg of alcohol preload. These data support previous evidence that priming with alcohol can occur and indicate that dose of, and time after preload might affect the strength of, the priming effect for alcohol-related behaviours.


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  • Published


Behavioural Pharmacology





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  • Psychology Publications

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