Navigation Links
Coke addicts prefer money in hand to snowy future
Date:8/11/2011

When a research team asked cocaine addicts to choose, hypothetically, between money now or cocaine of greater value later, "preference was almost exclusively for the money now," said Warren K., Bickel, professor in the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, director of the Advanced Recovery Research Center, and professor of psychology in the College of Science at Virginia Tech. This result is significantly different from previous studies where a subject chooses between some money now or more money later.

Hollywood portrays cocaine addicts as people who will do anything to get their drug and cocaine as the most strongly valued commodity in an addict's life. But research led by Bickel suggests a revision of that view-- cocaine is strongly valued only when it is immediately available. "When it is available later, it is not worth very much," he said.

The finding is good news for developing drug treatment programs based on incentives for delaying drug use, he said.

Research has demonstrated that addicts whether, smokers, drinkers, gamblers, or overeaters do tend to prefer the near-term reward. Such findings have provided insights into understanding addiction and the challenges for treatments that promise long-range benefits.

But most of the past research has been done with a single commodity such as money. "In real life, important choices for those with addiction depend on making decisions across commodities, such as cigarettes now or money later," said Bickel. His research team examined how the type of commodity and timing of a reward impacted decision making by cocaine addicts. They asked addicts to decide between cocaine now vs. more cocaine later; money now vs. more money later; cocaine now vs. money later; and money now vs. cocaine later.

Participants were 47 cocaine addicts, by criteria of the American Psychiatric Association, who were seeking treatment. They averaged in their early 40s, with 12 years of education, and a median income of $7,000. Each was asked to estimate the number of grams of cocaine worth $1,000 and the experiments were based on that value. The initial amount offered for the immediate choice has half of the full value; the delayed amount was always the full value. If the choice was money now versus cocaine later, the immediate reward was $500 and the future reward was $1,000 worth of cocaine.

When the participant chose one of the options, the immediate value was adjusted in the next trial up or down by half. If the participant chose the immediate reward, its value dropped by half for the next question. If he chose the future reward, its value increased by 50 percent, but delivery was further in the future. Participants made a choice between immediate and delayed rewards for each of seven delay periods one day, one week, one month, six months, one year, five years, and 25 years.

Findings for money now versus money later and cocaine now versus cocaine later replicated previous studies with single commodities. The mixed commodity conditions are novel to this study. In the money now-cocaine later choices, "participants soon became indifferent to future cocaine amounts, preferring immediate money even when the value of the future cocaine was significantly greater. That is, cocaine is discounted more steeply than money," said Bickel.

However, when the immediate reward was the drug and the future reward was money, the decline was less steep. "It took longer for the future money to lose favor compared to a lesser value of cocaine," said Bickel. Discounting rates for cocaine now versus money later were not much different than the single commodity results.

Reflecting on the implications for drug treatment programs, Bickel pointed out, "We showed that a delayed drug is discounted more than when the drug is immediately available, no matter what the other option is. In other words, drug users are less likely to use drugs when the choice to use is presented only as a future outcome rather than an immediately available one. For treatment programs for which abstinence is reinforced immediately and drug consumption is available only after a delay, the incentive to abstain may outweigh future drug consumption."


'/>"/>

Contact: Susan Trulove
strulove@vt.edu
540-231-5646
Virginia Tech
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Academy's Community Initiative Offers Qualifying Former Addicts Free Vocational Training
2. Interview: Heroin Addicts in Afghanistan: An Inside Look
3. Ignoring stress leads recovering addicts to more cravings
4. Chemical system in brain behaves differently in cocaine addicts, UT Southwestern scientists find
5. Drug addicts get hooked via prescriptions, keep using to feel like a better person, research shows
6. Helping Fellow Addicts Can Help Maintain Sobriety
7. 6 out of 10 male drug-addicts abuse their partners, a study says
8. Top Raleigh Dentist Robert Williamson Designated A Preferred Invisalign Provider
9. Advans Survey Reveals that 75 Percent of Executives Prefer Domestic Outsourcing vs. Offshore
10. Inverness Medical Innovations Declares Dividend on its Series B Convertible Perpetual Preferred Stock
11. ReGear Life Sciences Named Preferred Partner to Genesis Rehab Services
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... February 24, 2017 , ... Congratulations to Head Over Heels’ ... February 12th. Ms. Esparza qualified into this prestigious status after winning the ... Las Vegas, Nevada. Frida is one of approximately 25 gymnasts in the nation ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The 89th Academy Awards will be celebrated this weekend, which ... Center Bunkum Award. We invite you to enjoy our 11th annual tongue-in-cheek “salute” to ... the Center for American Progress (CAP), for its report, Lessons From State Performance on ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... Los Angeles-based weight loss surgeon Michael ... “Mama June: From Not to Hot,” which will begin airing on February 24, 2017. ... to millions from the 2012 reality television series, “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.” The ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... February 23, 2017 , ... ... Development will host a diverse symposium on “Doping in Sport: How ... and Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP. The symposium will be held at ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... Phoenix (PRWEB) , ... February 23, 2017 , ... ... in Phoenix, announced today that it will soon begin franchising throughout the U.S. ... the mission to help bring the practice of meditation mainstream. Current Meditation will ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/24/2017)... Md. , Feb. 23, 2017 ... marketing of the PhenoTest BC Kit, performed on ... to identify organisms that cause bloodstream infections and ... likely to respond to (antibiotic sensitivity). The test ... to provide this important information, which can guide ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... 24 février 2017 ITL Limited, ( ASX : ITD ), ... ravie d,annoncer les excellents résultats semestriels clos le 31 ... Une présentation complète « Résultats et mise à jour sur ... . Faits marquants ... 1,04 million $ ; en hausse de 104 %) ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... 23, 2017 Non-alcoholic steatohepataitis (NASH) ... various drugs being developed for the treatment ... drugs that are in various phases of ... focuses on novel pharmacologic drugs & regenerative ... therapies, recombinant proteins and RNA-based therapeutics, but ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: