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Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology - Vol 23, Iss 6

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Experimental & Clinical Psychopharmacology Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology seeks to promote the discipline of psychopharmacology in its fullest diversity. Psychopharmacology necessarily involves behavioral change, psychological processes, or their physiological substrates as one central variable and psychopharmacological agents as a second central variable. Such agents will include drugs, medications, and chemicals encountered in the workplace or environment.
Copyright 2015 American Psychological Association
  • Sex differences in cannabis withdrawal symptoms among treatment-seeking cannabis users.
    Over 300,000 individuals enter treatment for cannabis-use disorders (CUDs) in the United States annually. Cannabis withdrawal is associated with poor CUD-treatment outcomes, but no prior studies have examined sex differences in withdrawal among treatment-seeking cannabis users. Treatment-seeking cannabis users (45 women and 91 men) completed a Marijuana Withdrawal Checklist (Budney, Novy, & Hughes, 1999, Budney, Moore, Vandrey, & Hughes, 2003) at treatment intake to retrospectively characterize withdrawal symptoms experienced during their most recent quit attempt. Scores from the 14-item Composite Withdrawal Discomfort Scale (WDS), a subset of the Marijuana Withdrawal Checklist that corresponds to valid cannabis withdrawal symptoms described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.; APA, 2013) were calculated. Demographic and substance-use characteristics, overall WDS scores, and scores on individual WDS symptoms were compared between women and men. Women had higher overall WDS scores than men, and women had higher scores than men on 6 individual symptoms in 2 domains, mood symptoms (i.e., irritability, restlessness, increased anger, violent outbursts), and gastrointestinal symptoms (i.e., nausea, stomach pain). Follow-up analyses isolating the incidence and severity of WDS symptoms demonstrated that women generally reported a higher number of individual withdrawal symptoms than men, and that they reported experiencing some symptoms as more severe. This is the first report to demonstrate that women seeking treatment for CUDs may experience more withdrawal then men during quit attempts. Prospective studies of sex differences in cannabis withdrawal are warranted. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • An application of analyzing the trajectories of two disorders: A parallel piecewise growth model of substance use and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
    Researchers often want to examine 2 comorbid conditions simultaneously. One strategy to do so is through the use of parallel latent growth curve modeling (LGCM). This statistical technique allows for the simultaneous evaluation of 2 disorders to determine the explanations and predictors of change over time. Additionally, a piecewise model can help identify whether there are more than 2 growth processes within each disorder (e.g., during a clinical trial). A parallel piecewise LGCM was applied to self-reported attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and self-reported substance use symptoms in 303 adolescents enrolled in cognitive–behavioral therapy treatment for a substance use disorder and receiving either oral-methylphenidate or placebo for ADHD across 16 weeks. Assessing these 2 disorders concurrently allowed us to determine whether elevated levels of 1 disorder predicted elevated levels or increased risk of the other disorder. First, a piecewise growth model measured ADHD and substance use separately. Next, a parallel piecewise LGCM was used to estimate the regressions across disorders to determine whether higher scores at baseline of the disorders (i.e., ADHD or substance use disorder) predicted rates of change in the related disorder. Finally, treatment was added to the model to predict change. While the analyses revealed no significant relationships across disorders, this study explains and applies a parallel piecewise growth model to examine the developmental processes of comorbid conditions over the course of a clinical trial. Strengths of piecewise and parallel LGCMs for other addictions researchers interested in examining dual processes over time are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Pain volatility and prescription opioid addiction treatment outcomes in patients with chronic pain.
    The combination of prescription opioid dependence and chronic pain is increasingly prevalent and hazardous to public health. Variability in pain may explain poor prescription opioid addiction treatment outcomes in persons with chronic pain. This study examined pain trajectories and pain volatility in patients with chronic pain receiving treatment for prescription opioid addiction. We conducted secondary analyses of adults with chronic pain (n = 149) who received buprenorphine/naloxone (BUP/NLX) and counseling for 12 weeks in an outpatient, multisite clinical trial. Good treatment outcome was defined as urine-verified abstinence from opioids at treatment endpoint (Week 12) and during at least 2 of the previous 3 weeks. Pain severity significantly declined over time during treatment (b = −0.36, p <.001). Patients with greater pain volatility were less likely to have a good treatment outcome (odds ratio = 0.55, p <.05), controlling for baseline pain severity and rate of change in pain over time. A 1 standard deviation increase in pain volatility was associated with a 44% reduction in the probability of endpoint abstinence. The significant reduction in subjective pain during treatment provides observational support for the analgesic effects of BUP/NLX in patients with chronic pain and opioid dependence. Patients with greater volatility in subjective pain during treatment have increased risk of returning to opioid use by the conclusion of an intensive treatment with BUP/NLX and counseling. Future research should examine underlying mechanisms of pain volatility and identify related therapeutic targets to optimize interventions for prescription opioid addiction and co-occurring chronic pain. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Boundary conditions of methamphetamine craving.
    Methamphetamine use has increased significantly and become a global health concern. Craving is known to predict methamphetamine use and relapse following abstinence. Some have suggested that cravings are automatic, generalized, and uncontrollable, but experimental work addressing these claims is lacking. In 2 exploratory studies, we tested the boundary conditions of methamphetamine craving by asking: (a) is craving specific to users’ preferred route of administration?, and (b) can craving be regulated by cognitive strategies? Two groups of methamphetamine users were recruited. In Study 1, participants were grouped by their preferred route of administration (intranasal vs. smoking), and rated their craving in response to photographs and movies depicting methamphetamine use (via the intranasal vs. smoking route). In Study 2, methamphetamine smokers implemented cognitive regulation strategies while viewing photographs depicting methamphetamine smoking. Strategies involved either focusing on the positive aspects of smoking methamphetamine or the negative consequences of doing so—the latter strategy based on treatment protocols for addiction. In Study 1, we found a significant interaction between group and route of administration, such that participants who preferred to smoke methamphetamine reported significantly stronger craving for smoking stimuli, whereas those who preferred the intranasal route reported stronger craving for intranasal stimuli. In Study 2, participants reported significantly lower craving when focusing on the negative consequences associated with methamphetamine use. Taken together, these findings suggest that strength of craving for methamphetamine is moderated by users’ route of administration and can be reduced by cognitive strategies. This has important theoretical, methodological, and clinical implications. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Differential effects and temporal course of attentional and motivational training on excessive drinking.
    Two cognitive-motivational variables that help to solidify drinkers’ intentions to drink are their alcohol attentional bias and their maladaptive motivation. The Alcohol Attention Control Training Programme (AACTP) was designed to rectify the former, and the Life Enhancement and Advancement Programme (LEAP) was designed to rectify the latter. The present study used a factorial design to compare the individual and combined effects of the 2 interventions on mean weekly drinking and atypical weekly drinking of 148 harmful drinkers (49% males, mean age = 28.8 years). A variety of other cognitive-motivational and demographic measures were also taken at baseline, and the drinking measures were reassessed at posttreatment and 3 and 6 months later. In comparison with LEAP, the effects of AACTP were less enduring. Combining AACTP and LEAP had few incremental benefits. These results suggest that AACTP would be more effective for achieving short-term reductions in drinking, whereas LEAP would be more effective for alleviating problematic drinking. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Heroin delay discounting: Modulation by pharmacological state, drug-use impulsivity, and intelligence.
    Delay discounting (DD) refers to how rapidly an individual devalues goods based on delays to receipt. DD usually is considered a trait variable but can be state dependent, yet few studies have assessed commodity valuation at short, naturalistically relevant time intervals that might enable state-dependent analysis. This study aimed to determine whether drug-use impulsivity and intelligence influence heroin DD at short (ecologically relevant) delays during two pharmacological states (heroin satiation and withdrawal). Out-of-treatment, intensive heroin users (n = 170; 53.5% African American; 66.7% male) provided complete DD data during imagined heroin satiation and withdrawal. Delays were 3, 6, 12, 24, 48, 72, and 96 hours; maximum delayed heroin amount was thirty $10 bags. Indifference points were used to calculate area under the curve (AUC). We also assessed drug-use impulsivity (subscales from the Impulsive Relapse Questionnaire [IRQ]) and estimated intelligence (Shipley IQ) as predictors of DD. Heroin discounting was greater (smaller AUC) during withdrawal than satiation. In regression analyses, lower intelligence and IRQ Capacity for Delay as well as higher IRQ Speed (to return to drug use) predicted greater heroin discounting in the satiation condition. Lower intelligence and higher IRQ Speed predicted greater discounting in the withdrawal condition. Sex, race, substance use variables, and other IRQ subscales were not significantly related to the withdrawal or satiation DD behavior. In summary, heroin discounting was temporally rapid, pharmacologically state dependent, and predicted by drug-use impulsivity and estimated intelligence. These findings highlight a novel and sensitive measure of acute DD that is easy to administer. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Experimental study on the effects of anxiety sensitivity and somatosensory amplification on the response to the 35% CO₂ challenge in abstinent smokers.
    The relationship between nicotine abstinence and panic onset is still not well understood and the role of catastrophic misinterpretation, as possible moderator or mediator of this relationship, is unknown. We tested whether nicotine abstinence influences the response to a CO₂ panic challenge and whether catastrophic misinterpretation (measured via the Anxiety Sensitivity [ASI] and the SomatoSensory Amplification Scale [SSAS]) exerts a moderating or mediating effect on the relationship between nicotine abstinence and panic. Eighty regular smokers underwent a 35% CO₂ challenge after the transdermal administration of nicotine or placebo. Physiological and psychological variables were measured at baseline, directly before and after the challenge. Fear reactivity to the challenge was similar in both conditions. ASI (post-Test Visual Analogous Scale of Fear: ΔR² = 0.043, p <.05) and SSAS (post-Test Visual Analogous Scale of Anxiety: ΔR² = 0.036, p <.05; post-Test Panic Symptom List: ΔR² = 0.035, p <.05) influenced anxiety as response to the challenge. We found no support for the moderational and the mediational hypotheses. The findings regarding fear reactivity when group status is considered partly confirm the literature. The positive findings observed for ASI and SSAS as factors influencing the response to the challenge, together with the lack of evidence for a moderational and a mediational hypothesis, confirm that anxiety sensitivity and somatosensory amplification are independent constructs and suggest that they directly influence the response to the challenge. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Reinforcing value of smoking relative to physical activity and the effects of physical activity on smoking abstinence symptoms among young adults.
    This study sought to evaluate whether individual differences in the reinforcing value of smoking relative to physical activity (RRVS) moderated the effects of physical activity on smoking abstinence symptoms in young adult smokers. The repeated-measures within-subjects design included daily smokers (N = 79) 18–26 years old. RRVS was measured with a validated behavioral choice task. On 2 subsequent visits, participants completed self-report measures of craving, withdrawal, mood, and affective valence before and after they engaged in passive sitting or a bout of physical activity. RRVS did not moderate any effects of physical activity (ps > .05). Physical activity compared with passive sitting predicted decreased withdrawal symptoms, β = −5.23, 95% confidence interval (CI) [−6.93, −3.52] (p <.001), negative mood, β = −2.92, 95% CI [−4.13, −1.72] (p <.001), and urge to smoke. β = −7.13, 95% CI [−9.39, −4.86] (p <.001). Also, physical activity compared with passive sitting predicted increased positive affect, β = 3.08, 95% CI [1.87, 4.28] (p <.001) and pleasurable feelings, β = 1.07, 95% CI [0.58, 1.55] (p <.001), and greater time to first cigarette during the ad libitum smoking period, β = 211.76, 95% CI [32.54, 390.98] (p = .02). RRVS predicted higher levels of pleasurable feelings, β = 0.22, 95% CI [0.01, 0.43] (p = .045), increased odds of smoking versus remaining abstinent during the ad libitum smoking period, β = 0.04, 95% CI [0.01, 0.08] (p = .02), and reduced time to first cigarette, β = −163.00, 95% CI [−323.50, −2.49] (p = .047). Regardless of the RRVS, physical activity produced effects that may aid smoking cessation in young adult smokers. However, young adult smokers who have a higher RRVS will be less likely to choose to engage physical activity, especially when smoking is an alternative. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • A feasibility study of home-based contingency management with adolescent smokers of rural Appalachia.
    Cigarette smoking among adolescents remains a significant public health concern. This problem is compounded in regions such as rural Appalachia where rates of smoking are consistently higher than national averages and access to treatments is limited. The current research evaluated a home-based contingency management program completed over the Internet with adolescent smokers recruited from rural Appalachia. Participants (N = 62) submitted 3 video recordings per day showing their breath carbon monoxide (CO) levels using a handheld CO monitor. Participants were assigned to either an active treatment condition (AT; n = 31) in which reductions in breath CO were reinforced or a control treatment condition (CT; n = 31) in which providing timely video recordings were reinforced with no requirement to reduce breath CO. Results revealed that participants in the AT condition reduced their breath CO levels significantly more so during treatment than participants in the CT condition. Within-group comparisons revealed that participants in both conditions significantly reduced their breath CO, self-reported smoking, and nicotine dependence ratings during treatment. However, only participants in the AT condition significantly reduced urinary cotinine levels during treatment, and only participants in this condition maintained all reductions until 6-week post treatment. Participants in the CT condition only maintained self-reported smoking reductions until posttreatment assessments. These results support the feasibility and initial efficacy of this incentive-based approach to smoking cessation with adolescent smokers living in rural locations. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Characterizing use patterns and perceptions of relative harm in dual users of electronic and tobacco cigarettes.
    Awareness and use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) is increasing. Questions regarding positive (e.g., smoking reduction/cessation) and negative (e.g., delay of cessation) potential public health consequences of e-cigarettes may be informed by studying dual users of e-cigarettes and tobacco cigarettes. A cross-sectional online survey assessed demographics, product use patterns, and beliefs about relative product benefits and harms among dual users (n = 350) in the United States using the website Amazon Mechanical Turk. Compared to tobacco cigarettes, e-cigarettes were used less often and were associated with lower dependence. Participants reported a 30% reduction in self-reported tobacco cigarette smoking since beginning to use e-cigarettes. Reported primary reasons for e-cigarette use were harm reduction and smoking cessation. E-cigarette use was reported as more likely in settings with smoking restrictions and when others’ health could be adversely affected. Conversely, participants reported having used tobacco cigarettes more often than e-cigarettes in hedonic situations (e.g., after eating, drinking coffee or alcohol, or having sex), outdoors, or when stressed. Participants were twice as likely to report wanting to quit tobacco cigarettes compared to e-cigarettes in the next year and intended to quit tobacco cigarettes sooner. Tobacco cigarettes were described as more harmful and addictive, but also as more enjoyable than e-cigarettes. Participants provided evidence consistent with both positive and negative public health consequences of e-cigarettes, highlighting the need for experimental research, including laboratory studies and clinical trials. Policies should consider potential public health benefits of e-cigarettes, in addition to potential harms. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • A modified exponential behavioral economic demand model to better describe consumption data.
    Behavioral economic demand analyses that quantify the relationship between the consumption of a commodity and its price have proven useful in studying the reinforcing efficacy of many commodities, including drugs of abuse. An exponential equation proposed by Hursh and Silberberg (2008) has proven useful in quantifying the dissociable components of demand intensity and demand elasticity, but is limited as an analysis technique by the inability to correctly analyze consumption values of zero. We examined an exponentiated version of this equation that retains all the beneficial features of the original Hursh and Silberberg equation, but can accommodate consumption values of zero and improves its fit to the data. In Experiment 1, we compared the modified equation with the unmodified equation under different treatments of zero values in cigarette consumption data collected online from 272 participants. We found that the unmodified equation produces different results depending on how zeros are treated, while the exponentiated version incorporates zeros into the analysis, accounts for more variance, and is better able to estimate actual unconstrained consumption as reported by participants. In Experiment 2, we simulated 1,000 datasets with demand parameters known a priori and compared the equation fits. Results indicated that the exponentiated equation was better able to replicate the true values from which the test data were simulated. We conclude that an exponentiated version of the Hursh and Silberberg equation provides better fits to the data, is able to fit all consumption values including zero, and more accurately produces true parameter values. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)
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