Alcohol, Nicotine & Addiction
Matthew Ford, Ph.D. OHSU Primate center
Drug Interactions in Discrimination and Intake Patterns Underlie Co-Abuse Liability
Despite a steady decline in the rate of current smokers over the past four decades down to 20%, rates are estimated to be approximately 80% in chronic alcoholics, indicating that this sub-group of the population may be particularly vulnerable to co-abuse and its associated health-related and social costs. We have implemented drug discrimination and concurrent drug self-administration procedures in mice to investigate the neural and behavioral mechanisms underlying alcohol-nicotine co-use. At the level of subjective drug effects, two interactive mechanisms emerge: 1) alcohol overshadows the perception of the nicotine component and the drug mixture generates predominantly alcohol-like discriminative stimulus effects, and 2) nicotine pretreatment enhances the efficacy of the alcohol component. At the level of self-administration, concurrent nicotine intake dose-dependently augments alcohol intake and blood alcohol concentration by up to 1.5- and 3-fold, respectively. Preliminary evidence suggests that we may be able to uncouple these synergistic interactions with neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor ligands such as the partial agonist varenicline.
Thursday, November 16 at 4:30pm to 5:30pm
3203 Southeast Woodstock Boulevard, Portland, Oregon 97202-8199