Relationship between oral D-amphetamine self-administration and ratings of subjective effects: do subjective-effects ratings correspond with a progressive-ratio measure of drug-taking behavior?

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Abstract

The abuse potential of drugs has traditionally been determined in humans using subjective ratings of drug effects. However, drug self-administration procedures also provide valuable information about the reinforcing effects of drugs that may contribute to their potential for abuse. Although ratings of subjective effects and drug self-administration data are generally concordant, some divergent findings have been reported. Therefore, the aim of the present analysis was to directly investigate the relationship between the subjective-effects profile and self-administration of oral D-amphetamine in healthy volunteers with a history of stimulant use or abuse, using Pearson’s correlational analyses. The results indicated that positive subjective and reinforcing effects significantly increased as a function of D-amphetamine dose. Further, significant, but modest, correlations were observed between ratings of six of 17 total items (Any Effect, High, Like Drug, Good Effects, Willing to Pay For, and Willing to Take Again) and D-amphetamine self-administration under a progressive-ratio schedule of reinforcement. The current findings suggest that, at least under the current set of conditions with oral D-amphetamine, subjective-effects measures and drug self-administration data likely provide different but complimentary information about abuse potential. The most informative findings will thus be obtained from studies that use ratings of subjective effects and drug self-administration methods.

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