Researchers then will record how varying the levels of stressors or withholding them affects drug-seeking behavior. Greenwald predicts that higher stress levels will result in more drug seeking. He said that actually measuring those levels is a chance to develop a deeper appreciation for the mechanisms by which stress increases drug use. For instance, the behavioral economic approach will be used to examine whether stressors increase drug seeking regardless of drug price, or only when drug price is high.
Researchers will track some biological reactions and note participants' self-reported mood changes. Learning and memory functions known to be sensitive to emotion-inducing situations also will be measured.
In an experimental setting, Greenwald said, money has been shown to be a good generalized alternative to drugs, and that combining non-drug incentives with anti-stressor medication could be used to drive down drug demand. He believes his study will have broad importance because it will enable better understanding of how stress might increase drug use of all types, and perhaps at different phases of the addiction cycle.
That understanding could lead to more individually tailored treatments that combine anti-stress medications, other medications and behavior therapies, Greenwald said, adding that combining therapies works better than using them in isolation. Treatment in many ca
|Contact: Julie O'Connor|
Wayne State University - Office of the Vice President for Research