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Which drug is the most reinforcing? Comparison of heroin, cocaine, MDMA and nicotine by intravenous self-administration

2018 BPS Smith et al  IVSA Nicotine MDMA cocaine heroin

Intravenous self-administration (IVSA) is a robust model for the detection of reinforcing effects of centrally-acting drugs.  IVSA studies in the rat have been shown to translate well to drug abuse in humans, for wide variety of drugs of abuse. By using a fixed ratio (FR) schedule it is possible to determine whether a drug has reinforcing properties when compared to a non-reinforcer (in this case saline). However, by using a progressive ratio (PR) schedule it is possible to reliably compare the relative reinforcing efficacy of  different drugs using break-point testing. Four highly abused drugs, of differing legal status (heroin, cocaine, MDMA and nicotine), were compared for their relative reinforcing efficacy in rats.



Which drug is the most reinforcing? Comparison of heroin, cocaine, MDMA and nicotine by intravenous self-administration

Experimental

Abuse & Dependence, CNS

Author

S. Smith, M. Burnett, M. Hallam, S. Holland, Z. Turnbull, J. Slade, D. Heal

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