, Volume 107, Issue 6, pp 715-720

Standardized stimuli to assess drug craving and drug memory in addicts

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Summary.

Due to conditioning processes, originally neutral stimuli become drug-associated cues and can initiate drug craving. Standardized stimuli are required to assess stimulus-induced activation of drug memory and craving in brain imaging and neurophysiology studies. We developed substance-specific visual and olfactory stimuli for alcohol, tobacco, opiate and cannabis abuse and tested them in subjects with the respective addiction and in healthy volunteers. Stimulus-related drug craving differed significantly between the diagnostic groups and indicated that the stimuli are suitable for craving studies.

Received December 15, 1999; accepted January 19, 2000