Addiction is a chronic disease where periods of abstinence are riddled with instances of craving, withdrawal, and eventual relapse to escalated drug use. Cues previously associated with drug use can have a deleterious effect on this cycle by precipitating withdrawal symptoms. Here we focus specifically on the relationship between avoidance of a drug-paired taste cue and the ability of the drug-paired cue to elicit withdrawal and, ultimately, drug seeking and taking. We used a rat model of drug addiction and naloxone-induced loss of body weight to test whether a taste cue elicits withdrawal in anticipation of drug availability. Experiment 1 investigated the ability of a taste cue to elicit signs of withdrawal when it predicted experimenter-administered morphine (15. mg/kg, i.p.). In Experiment 2, a saccharin taste cue was paired with the opportunity to actively self-administer cocaine (0.167. mg/infusion, i.v.). The results show that presentation of a morphine- or cocaine-paired taste cue is sufficient to elicit naloxone-induced withdrawal symptoms, and greater withdrawal predicts greater cocaine self-administration in rats.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Behavioral Neuroscience