Chronobiological Factors in Drug Abuse

  • Mark Hochhauser


Numerous experiments have shown that chronological events (i.e., biological rhythms) play a significant role in partially determining an individual’s responsivity to a wide variety of drugs. Among the many chemical agents reported to be affected by circadian rhythms are; ethanol, barbiturates, opiates, etc., with each drug presumed to have its own unique chronobiological rhythm.

It is argued that chronobiology may affect the development and maintenance of alcohol and drug abuse problems, insofar as an inidvidual’s response to a particular chemical substance will be a function of several chronobiological variables; time of day, light-dark cycles, sleep-wake patterns, and other intrinsic biochemical rhythms.

Consequently, an accurate analysis of alcohol and drug abuse problems requires not only an understanding of the psychopharmacological properties of the particular drugs involved, but a corresponding awareness of the drug user’s unique responsivity to that drug, insofar as such responses may be rhythmically determined. Such an analysis is necessary to account for individual variations in the acquisition and continuation of alcohol and drug problems, since not only will the biological rhythm determine, in part, the effect of a given drug, but a drug may well affect the biological rhythm itself.


Drug Abuse Circadian Rhythm Circadian Variation Biological Rhythm Ethanol Preference 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Beuthin, P. and Bosquet, W. 1970. Long-term variation in basal and phenobarbital-stimulated oxidative drug metabolism in the rat. Biochem. Parmac. 19: 620–625.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bianchine, J. and Ferguson, F. 1967. Acute toxicity and lethal brain concentration of phenobarbital in young and adult albino rats. Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Med. 124: 1077–1079.Google Scholar
  3. Bornschein, R.L. 1975. Diurnal variations in morphine induced analgesia, locomotor activation and toxicity in mice. Dissert. Abstr. Int. 36(2-B): 665–666.Google Scholar
  4. Bornschein, R.L., Crockett, R.S. and Smith, R.P. 1977. Diurnal variations in the analgesic effectiveness of morphine in mice. Phar., Biochem., and Behav. 6(6): 621–626.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Broughton, R. 1975. Biorythmic variations in consciousness and psychological functions. Canadian Psych. Rev. 16(4): 217–239.Google Scholar
  6. Conroy, R.T.W.L. and Mills, J.N. 1970.Human circadian rhythms. London: J and A Churchill.Google Scholar
  7. Davis, W. 1962. Day-night periodicity in phenobarbital response of mice and the influence of socio-psychological conditions. Experientia. 18: 235–346.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Evans, H.L., Ghiselli, W.B. and Patton, R.A. 1973. Diurnal rhythm in behavioral effects of methamphetamine, p-chloromethamphetamine and scopolamine. J. Pharm, and Exp. Ther. 186(1): 10–17.Google Scholar
  9. Frederickson, R.C.A., Burgis, V. and Edwards, J.D. 1977. Hyperalgesia induced by naloxone follows diurnal rhythm in responsivity to painful stimuli. Science. 198: 756–758.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Friedman, A.H. 1974. Serendipity and chronobiology in pharmacology, in: Scheving, L.E., Halberg, F. and Pauly, J.E. (eds.) Chronobiology. Tokyo: Igaku Shoin, Ltd.Google Scholar
  11. Geller, I. 1971. Ethanol preference in the rat as a function of photo-period.Science. 173: 456–458.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gioscia, V. 1972. Drugs as chronotic agents, in: Keup, W. (ed.) Drug abuse: current concepts and research. Springfield, XL: Charles C. Thomas Publishers.Google Scholar
  13. Halberg, R. 1977. President’s letter: chronobiology in 1977. Chro- nobiologia. 4(3): 255–263.Google Scholar
  14. Haus, E. and Halberg F. 1959. 24-hour rhythm in susceptibility of C mice to toxic dose of ethanol. J. Appl. Pysiol. 14: 878–880.Google Scholar
  15. Hofman, F.G. 1975. A handbook on drug and alcohol abuse. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Jones, B.M. 1974. Circadian variation in the effects of alcohol on cognitive performance. Q. J.Stud. Ale. 35(4): 1212–1219.Google Scholar
  17. Jones, B.M. and Paredes, A. 1974. Circadian variation of ethanol metabolism in alcoholics. Brit. J. Addict. 69(1): 3–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Luce, G.G. 1971. Biological rhythms in human and animal physiology. New York: Dover Publications.Google Scholar
  19. Lutsch, E.F. and Morris, R.W. 1971. Light reversal of a morphine- induced analgesia susceptibility rhythm in mice.Experientia. 28: 673–674.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lutsch, E..F and Morris, R.W. 1972. Effect of constant lighting on the morphine susceptibility rhythm. Experientia. 28: 673–674.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Machenburg, E.M., Broverman, D.M., Vogel, W. and Klaiber, E.L. 1974. Morning-to-afternoon changes in cognitive performances and in the electoencehalogram. J.Ed. Psych. 66(2): 238–246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Marte, E. and Halberg, F. 1961. Circadian susceptibility rhythm of mice to librium. Fed. Proc. 20: 305.Google Scholar
  23. Morgane, P.J. and Stern, W.C. 1974. Rhythms of the biogenic amines in the brain and sleep, in Scheving, L.E., Halberg, F., and Pauly, J.E. (eds.) Chronobiology. Tokyo: Igaku Shoin, Ltd.Google Scholar
  24. Morris, R.W. and Lutsch, E.F. 1969. Daily susceptibility rhythm to morphine analgesia. J. Phar. Sei. 58: 374–376.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Muller, O. 1974. Circadian rhythmicity in response to barbiturates, in Scheving, L.E., Halberg, R. and Pauly, J.E. (eds.), Chronobiology. Tokyo: Igaku Shoin, Ltd.Google Scholar
  26. Nair, V. 1974. Circadian rhythm in drug action: a pharmacological, biochemical, and electonmicroscopic study, in: Scheving, L.E., Halberg, F. and Pauly, J.E. (eds.) Chronobiology. Tokyo: Igaku Shoin, Ltd.Google Scholar
  27. Nelson, W. and Halberg, F. 1973. An evaluation of time-dependent changes in susceptibility of mice to pentobarbital injection. Neuropharmcology. 12: 509–524.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Orr, W.C. 1976. Biological rhythms and drug addiction.Ale. Tech. Rep. Okla. City. 5: 15–18.Google Scholar
  29. Pauly, J. and Scheving, L. 1964. Temporal variations in the susceptibility of white rats to phenobarbital sodium and Tremorine. Int. J. Neuropharm. 3: 651–658.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Petren, T. and Sollberger, A. 1967. Developmental rhythms, in: von Mayersbach, H. (ed.) The cellular aspects of biorhythms. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
  31. Radzialowski, P.M. and Bosquet 1968. Daily rhythmic variation in hepatic drug metabolism in the rat and mouse. J. Pharm. Exp. Ther. 163: 229–238.Google Scholar
  32. Reinberg, A. and Halberg, F. 1971. Circadian chronopharmacology. Ann. Rev. Pharmacol. 11; 455–492.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Reinberg, A. and Halberg, F. 1971. Circadian chronopharmacology, Ann. Rev. Pharamcol. 11: 455–492.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Scheving, L.E. 1969. Circadian variation in susceptibility of the rat to D-amphetamine sulfate. Anat. Ree. 160: 422.Google Scholar
  35. Scheving, L.E. and Vedral, D. 1966. Circadian variation in susceptibility of the rat to several different pharmacological agents. Anat. Ree. 154: 417.Google Scholar
  36. Scheving, L.E., Vedral, D.R. and Pauly, J.E. 1968. A circadian susceptibility rhythm in rats to pentobarbital sodium. Anat. Ree. 160: 741–750.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Vessell, E. 1968. Genetic and environmental factors affecting hexo- barbital metabolism in mice. Ann. NY Acad. Sci. 151: 900–912.Google Scholar
  38. Vernadakis, A. and Weiner, N. (eds.) 1974.Drugs and the Developing Brain. New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  39. von Mayersbach, H. (ed.) 1967. The cellular aspects of biorhythms. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
  40. Walker, C.A. 1974. Implications of biological rhythms in brain amine concentrations and drug toxicity, in Scheving, L.E., Halberg, F. and Pauly, J.E. (eds.) Chronobiology. Tokyo: Igaku Shoin, Ltd.Google Scholar
  41. Yaffe, S., Krasner, J. and Catz, C. 1968. Variations in detoxifying enzymes during mammalian development. Ann. NY Acad. Sci. 151: 887–899.Google Scholar
  42. Young, R.D. 1967. Developmental psycholpharmacology; a beginning. Psych. Bull. 67: 73–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Hochhauser
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MinnesotaUSA

Personalised recommendations