Grants and Contracts Details


One of the most difficult problems facing drug abuse practitioners is the continuing high rate of relapse following treatment. While there are multiple internal states and external cues that may trigger relapse, one common factor is to re-associate with drug-using social peers. Although some recent preclinical work has examined the role of social influence on acquisition and maintenance of drug self-administration, there is essentially no information about the role of social cues in reinstatement of drug seeking. The overall hypothesis of this project is that drug-paired social peers will induce drug seeking, and these social cues will synergize with non-social discrete/contextual cues to elicit cocaine seeking that is greater than that elicited by either cue alone. The proposed studies are innovative because they will determine the role of drug-associated social peers on reinstatement of cocaine seeking in a controlled preclinical laboratory setting. Separate from discrete cues (light, tone) and contextual cues (tactile and visual cues, time of day), these studies will determine if drug-associated social peers represent a qualitatively different type of reinstating cue. In addition, these studies will provide definitive information about the potential interactive effects of social and discrete/contextual cues in reinstatement. Two specific aims are proposed. First, we will determine if there are sex differences in discriminative social cue-induced reinstatement and if social cues potentiate the ability of discrete or contextual cues to reinstate drug seeking. Second, in all of these of behavioral experiments, c-Fos protein immunoreactive cells will be quantitated in various brain regions to determine if neural activation following social cues differs from activation induced by discrete/contextual cues. If social cues prove to be prepotent in triggering drug seeking or if they synergize with discrete cues to produce an exaggerated risk, this would provide evidence that informs psychosocial treatments which emphasize skill-building to avoid deviant peers.
Effective start/end date2/1/171/31/21


  • National Institute on Drug Abuse: $398,119.00


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.