Opioid craving does not incubate over time in inpatient or outpatient treatment studies: Is the preclinical incubation of craving model lost in translation?

Cecilia L. Bergeria, Cassandra D. Gipson, Kirsten E. Smith, William W. Stoops, Justin C. Strickland

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Within addiction science, incubation of craving is an operational label used to describe time-dependent increases in drug seeking during periods of drug deprivation. The purpose of this systematic review was to describe the preclinical literature on incubation of craving and the clinical literature on craving measured over extended periods of abstinence to document this translational homology and factors impacting correspondence. Across the 44 preclinical studies that met inclusion criteria, 31 reported evidence of greater lever pressing, nose pokes, spout licks, or time spent in drug-paired compartments (i.e., drug seeking) relative to neutral compartments after longer periods of abstinence relative to shorter periods of abstinence, labelled as “incubation of craving.” In contrast, no clinical studies (n = 20) identified an increase in opioid craving during longer abstinence periods. The lack of clinical evidence for increases in craving in clinical populations weakens the translational utility of operationalizing the time-dependent increase in drug-seeking behavior observed in preclinical models as models of incubation of “craving”.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105618
JournalNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Volume160
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Craving
  • Heroin
  • Models
  • Opioid
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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