Individual differences in drug abuse vulnerability: D-amphetamine and sensation-seeking status

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110 Scopus citations


Rationale: While the personality dimensions of novelty seeking and sensation seeking are associated with drug abuse vulnerability, the mechanisms associated with this vulnerability remain obscure. Objective: This study examined the behavioral effects of d-amphetamine in healthy volunteers scoring in the upper and lower quartiles based on age- and gender-adjusted population norms on the impulsive Sensation-Seeking Scale (SSS) of the Zuckerman-Kuhlman personality questionnaire (ZKPQ). Method: Participants completed 7-day outpatient studies examining the subjective, performance, and cardiovascular effects of d-amphetamine (0, 7.5, and 15 mg/70 kg, p.o.) under double-blind conditions according to a randomized block design. Performance tasks included behavioral measures of impulsivity, including attention, inhibition, and risk-taking behavior. Results: No differences in baseline performance or d-amphetamine effects on measures of attention, inhibition, and risk-taking behavior were observed. High impulsive sensation seekers reported greater increases on several subjective report measures associated with drug abuse potential, including visual analog scales feel drug, like drug, and high. Conclusions: Healthy adults scoring in the top quartile on the population of the impulsive SSS of the ZKPQ may be vulnerable to the abuse potential of d-amphetamine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-25
Number of pages9
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements This research project was supported by grants P50 05312 and R01 DA 15392 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The authors wish to thank Stephanie Douglas, Cleeve Emurian, Beth Eaves, Oriaku Akuma-Kalu Njoku, and Susan Holiday for help in executing the study.


  • Abuse potential
  • D-amphetamine
  • Performance effects
  • Sensation-seeking status
  • Subjective effects
  • Vulnerability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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