Prior Exposure to Alcohol and the Stress–Response–Dampening Effect

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid


This study investigated the effect of receiving prior exposure to alcohol and the laboratory environment on the stress-reducing effects of alcohol. Sixteen heavy drinkers were matched on a measure of risk for alcoholism and assigned to 1 of 2 groups. During Days 1 and 2, the alcohol group drank alcohol (0.5 g/kg) and the placebo group drank a placebo in a distinct laboratory environment while measures of heart rate were obtained. During Day 3, both groups received a placebo in an effort to discern whether the groups differed in their response to alcohol cues. During Day 4, both groups received alcohol followed by a stressful task. The groups differed in neither their response to alcohol cues nor their initial response to alcohol. However, the alcohol group did demonstrate a reduced heart rate response during the stress phase. These results suggest that the stress-reducing effects of alcohol may reflect the influence of experiential as well as pharmacological factors related to alcohol consumption.

    loading  Loading Related Articles