The focus of this review is to examine the effect of non-drug alternative reinforcers on drug-reinforced behavior. An increasing number of animal laboratory as well as human clinical studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of non-drug reinforcers in reducing steady-state levels of drug self-administration. One goal of this review was to determine what behavioral economic conditions are optimal for reducing drug-reinforced behavior. Variables such as price of the drug and non-drug reinforcer have been manipulated by changing fixed-ratio (FR) value of these commodities. Income has been changed by limiting the amount of access to the commodities or by changing session length. Substitution was evaluated by determining whether decreased demand for a drug (due to increased price) was related to increased demand for a non-drug reinforcer. A second goal of this review was to investigate transition states in the drug addiction process with respect to the role of alternative non-drug reinforcers. Animal models of acquisition and withdrawal were examined to identify behavioral economic conditions under which acquisition may be prevented or withdrawal effects (and potential for relapse) may be alleviated.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The assistanceo f Gilbert0 Carmona, Sylvie Lac and Joshua Rodefer in conducting these experimentsi s greatly appreciated.D r. Steven Hursh is gratefully acknowledgedf or assistance in analyzing the data presentedi n Fig. 1. This work was supportedb y grants R37 DA 03240, ROl DA 02486,a nd T32 DA 07097f rom the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Portions of this paper were presenteda t the annual meeting of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence, Keystone, Colorado, June 1992.
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- behavioral economics
- closed economy
- fixed ratio
- glucose + saccharin (G + S)
- open economy
- rhesus monkeys