A human alcohol self-administration paradigm to model individual differences in impaired control over alcohol use.

Robert F. Leeman, William Corbin, Christine Nogueira, Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin, Marc N. Potenza, Stephanie S. O'Malley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

We developed an alcohol self-administration paradigm to model individual differences in impaired control. The paradigm includes moderate drinking guidelines meant to model limits on alcohol consumption, which are typically exceeded by people with impaired control. Possible payment reductions provided a disincentive for excessive drinking. Alcohol use above the guideline, despite possible pay reductions, was considered to be indicative of impaired control. Heavy-drinking 21- to 25-year-olds (n = 39) were randomized to an experimental condition including the elements of the impaired control paradigm or to a free-drinking condition without these elements. Alcohol self-administration was compared between these two conditions to establish the internal validity of the experimental paradigm. In both conditions, participants self-administered beer and nonalcoholic beverages for 3 hours in a bar setting with 1-3 other participants. Experimental condition participants self-administered significantly fewer beers and drank to lower blood-alcohol concentrations (BACs) on average than those in the free-drinking condition. Experimental condition participants were more likely than free-drinking condition participants to intersperse nonalcoholic beverages with beer and to drink at a slower pace. Although experimental condition participants drank more moderately than those in the free-drinking condition overall, their range of drinking was considerable (BAC range = .024-.097), with several participants drinking excessively. A lower initial subjective response to alcohol and earlier age of alcohol use onset were associated with greater alcohol self-administration in the experimental condition. Given the variability in response, the impaired control laboratory paradigm may have utility for preliminary tests of novel interventions in future studies and for identifying individual differences in problem-drinking risk. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-314
Number of pages12
JournalExperimental and clinical psychopharmacology
Volume21
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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