Influence of Cocaine-Related Images and Alcohol Administration on Inhibitory Control in Cocaine Users

Erika Pike, Katherine R. Marks, William W. Stoops, Craig R. Rush

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Alcohol use and impulsivity, including decreased inhibitory control, predict poor treatment outcomes for individuals with cocaine use disorders. This study sought to determine the effects of alcohol administration on inhibitory control following cocaine-related and neutral cues on the Attentional Bias-Behavioral Activation (ABBA) task in cocaine users. We hypothesized that the proportion of inhibitory failures would increase following cocaine, compared to neutral, cues. We further hypothesized that there would be an interaction between alcohol administration and task version, such that alcohol would impair inhibitory control following cocaine, but not neutral cues. Methods: Fifty current cocaine users completed this mixed-model, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study over 2 experimental sessions. The ABBA task was completed following alcohol administration (0.0 and 0.65 g/kg). Subject-rated drug effect and physiological measures were collected prior to and after alcohol administration. Results: Proportion of inhibitory failures was increased following cocaine-related cues compared to neutral cues independent of alcohol dose. Alcohol administration also produced prototypical subject-rated drug effects. Conclusions: A better understanding of the relationship between alcohol consumption and inhibitory control in cocaine users could direct the development of interventions to decrease the risk of relapse in individuals who drink and display impaired inhibitory control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2140-2150
Number of pages11
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank the staff of the University of Kentucky Laboratory of Human Behavioral Pharmacology for assistance in screening and running sessions with subjects in this study.

Funding Information:
This research and the preparation of this manuscript were supported by grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse R01DA025032 and R01DA025591 (CRR) and the training grants NIDA T32DA035200 (CRR, EP, KRM) and NCATS TL1 TR000115 (KRM). These funding sources had no further role in study design; the collection, analysis, or interpretation of the data; writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the paper for publication.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2017 by the Research Society on Alcoholism


  • Alcohol
  • Cocaine
  • Cocaine Cues
  • Inhibitory Control
  • Response Inhibition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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