Relations Between Acute Effects of Alcohol on Response Inhibition, Impaired Control over Alcohol Use, and Alcohol-Related Problems

William R. Corbin, Benjamin L. Berey, Jack T. Waddell, Robert F. Leeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Alcohol consistently impairs response inhibition in the laboratory, and alcohol impairment of response inhibition may lead to excess consumption or increases in intoxicated risk behavior, both of which contribute to risk for alcohol-related problems. To our knowledge, no prior studies have examined relations between alcohol impairment of response inhibition and either impaired control over alcohol (i.e., inability to adhere to predetermined drinking limits) or real-world alcohol-related problems. The current study addressed this gap in the literature. Methods: Young adult social drinkers (N = 215, 76% male) participated in a between-subjects, placebo-controlled alcohol challenge study and completed self-reports approximately 2 weeks later. Multilevel models were used to examine the hypothesis that alcohol impairment of response inhibition would indirectly lead to alcohol-related problems through impaired control over alcohol use. Results: Greater alcohol-induced impairment of response inhibition and impaired control over alcohol use were both significant predictors of alcohol-related problems. However, greater alcohol-induced response inhibition was not a significant predictor of impaired control over alcohol use. Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first study demonstrating relationships between alcohol impairment of response inhibition and real-world alcohol-related problems and the first to address relationships between alcohol impairment of response inhibition and impaired control over alcohol use. These results suggest that impaired control over alcohol use may result from deficits in the trait ability to control behavior rather than deficits in alcohol-induced response inhibition. Regardless, results suggest that alcohol impairment of response inhibition and impaired control over alcohol are both worthwhile intervention targets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1123-1131
Number of pages9
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Volume44
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2020

Keywords

  • Alcohol Consumption
  • Alcohol-Related Problems
  • Cued Go/No-Go
  • Impaired Control Over Alcohol Use
  • Response Inhibition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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