ABSTRACT: Theories of addiction posit that stimuli associated with drug use, including both exteroceptive (e.g., paraphernalia) and interoceptive (e.g., feeling tense or "stressed"), evoke craving and contribute to the pathogenesis of substance misuse. Control over drug cue response and stress is essential for moderating use. Building from laboratory data supporting associations between cue exposure, stress, and craving, this study tested whether these associations generalize to real-world settings and examined whether a well-vetted neurocognitive control capacity, i.e., working memory (WM), moderated associations. Youth (N = 85; 15-24 years) completed baseline and ecological momentary assessments. Cue exposure and participants' average stress predicted higher craving. Youth with weaker WM experienced stronger craving at higher-stress moments but not when faced with cues. Interactions were present for both previous-moment and same-moment stress. Craving among adolescents with stronger WM was not swayed by momentary stress. Findings suggest stronger WM protects against craving at more stressful moments.
Project description:UNLABELLED:Cigarette cravings in response to environmental cues and stressors are widely recognized as important predictors of smoking cessation outcomes. Accumulating evidence suggests that genetics plays a role in these craving responses, as well as in smoking cessation more generally. Previous studies of genetic polymorphisms have been limited by examination of single candidate genes and the use of broadly defined phenotypes (e.g., smoking history). In addition, research examining the similarities and differences between cue- and stress-induced cravings has been limited, although some evidence has suggested that they may have common genetic underpinnings. In the current study, we examined associations between a panel of 1,350 candidate genetic polymorphisms and craving responses to laboratory smoking cues and stressors. We hypothesized that common genetic polymorphisms would be predictive of both cue- and stress-induced craving. Nicotine-dependent smokers (n = 210) donated a blood sample, were exposed to neutral, smoking-related, and stress-related stimuli, and completed craving questionnaires immediately prior to and following each stimulus. Findings indicated that craving responses to smoking cues and stressors were moderately correlated (r = .44). However, genetic analysis revealed that cue and stress-induced cigarette craving were predicted by different polymorphisms, such that variants in the glycine and dopamine pathways were predictive of cue-induced craving, whereas variants in the stress-corticotropin pathway predicted stress-induced craving. CONCLUSIONS:Study results provide no support for the hypothesis that cue- and stress-induced craving have the same genetic predictors.
Project description:RATIONALE:Drug-related cues evoke craving and stimulate motivational systems in the brain. The acoustic startle reflex captures activation of these motivational processes and affords a unique measure of reactivity to drug cues. OBJECTIVES:This study examined the effects of cannabis-related cues on subjective and eye blink startle reactivity in the human laboratory and tested whether these effects predicted youth's cue-elicited cannabis craving in the natural environment. METHODS:Participants were 55 frequent cannabis users, ages 16 to 24 years (M?=?19.9, SD?=?1.9; 55% male; 56% met criteria for cannabis dependence), who were recruited from a clinical trial to reduce cannabis use. Eye blink electromyographic activity was recorded in response to acoustic probes that elicited startle reactivity while participants viewed pleasant, unpleasant, neutral, and cannabis picture cues. Following the startle assessment, participants completed an ecological momentary assessment protocol that involved repeated assessments of cue-elicited craving in real time in their real-world environments. RESULTS:Multilevel models included the presence or absence of visible cannabis cues in the natural environment, startle magnitude, and the cross-level interaction of cues by startle to test whether cue-modulated startle reactivity in the laboratory was associated with cue-elicited craving in the natural environment. Analyses showed that cannabis-related stimuli evoked an appetitive startle response pattern in the laboratory, and this effect was associated with increased cue-elicited craving in the natural environment, b?=?- 0.15, p?=?.022, 95% CI [- 0.28, - 0.02]. Pleasant stimuli also evoked an appetitive response pattern, but in this case, blunted response was associated with increased cue-elicited craving in the natural environment, b?=?0.27, p?<?.001, 95% CI [0.12, 0.43]. CONCLUSIONS:Our findings support cue-modulated startle reactivity as an index of the phenotypic expression of cue-elicited cannabis craving.
Project description:RATIONALE:Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) of specific events usually focuses more on antecedents and concomitants than on aftermaths. OBJECTIVES:To examine mental state both before and after discrete episodes of stress and drug use. METHODS:For up to 16 weeks, outpatients on opioid-agonist treatment carried smartphones on which they initiated entries for stressful events (SEs) or lapses to drug use (DUs), and thrice daily when randomly prompted (RPs). Participants rated their stress, opioid craving, cocaine craving, and moods. RP entries within 5 h of an event were analyzed and compared to other RPs. RESULTS:Stress, negative mood, and craving were generally higher before and after DUs and SEs compared to background levels in participants with at least one DU (n?=?149) or SE (n?=?158). Before DUs, there were increases in negative mood, opioid craving, and cocaine craving, but not background stress. Before SEs, there were increases in background stress, opioid craving, and cocaine craving, but not negative mood. These changes were more variable after events than before. Neither DUs nor SEs were significantly related to positive mood. CONCLUSIONS:Stress increased before stressful-event entries, but was less evident before drug use. Craving increased in the hours before drug use and stressful events-and remained elevated in the hours after either event. These results suggest a stronger link between drug use and craving than between drug use and stress. Lapses to drug use did not improve mood or reduce stress, at least not at our 1-h-bin time resolution, suggesting that if such benefits exist, they are brief.
Project description:Individuals with bulimia nervosa (BN) or binge-eating disorder (BED) experience more frequent and intense food cravings than individuals without binge eating. However, it is currently unclear whether they also show larger food cue-induced increases in craving (i.e., food cue reactivity) than those without binge eating, as suggested by conditioning theories of binge eating. A group of individuals with BN or BED (binge-eating group, n = 27) and a group of individuals with low trait food craving scores and without binge eating (control group, n = 19) reported their current food craving before and after a food cue exposure. Although food craving intensity significantly increased in both groups, this increase was significantly stronger in the binge-eating group than in the control group. This result is in line with conditioning models of binge eating that propose that food cues are conditioned stimuli that elicit a conditioned response (e.g., food craving) and that this association is stronger in individuals with binge eating. As food craving increased in individuals with low trait food craving scores as well-although to a lesser extent-previous null results might be explained by methodological considerations such as not screening control participants for trait food craving.
Project description:INTRODUCTION: With the progression of substance dependence, drug cue-related brain activation is thought to shift from motivational towards habit pathways. However, a direct association between cue-induced brain activation and dependence duration has not yet been shown. We therefore examined the relationship between alcohol cue-reactivity in the brain, cue-induced subjective craving and alcohol dependence duration and severity. Since alcohol dependence is highly comorbid with depression/anxiety, which may modulate brain responses to alcohol cues, we also examined the relation between comorbid depression/anxiety and cue-reactivity. METHODS: We compared 30 alcohol dependent patients with 15 healthy controls and 15 depression/anxiety patients during a visual alcohol cue-reactivity task using functional magnetic resonance imaging blood oxygenated level-dependent responses and subjective craving as outcomes. Within the alcohol dependent group we correlated cue-reactivity with alcohol dependence severity and duration, with cue-induced craving and with depression/anxiety levels. RESULTS: Alcohol dependent patients showed greater cue-reactivity in motivational brain pathways and stronger subjective craving than depression/anxiety patients and healthy controls. Depression/anxiety was not associated with cue-reactivity, but depression severity in alcohol dependent patients was positively associated with craving. Within alcohol dependence, longer duration of alcohol dependence was associated with stronger cue-related activation of the posterior putamen, a structure involved in habits, whereas higher alcohol dependence severity was associated with lower cue-reactivity in the anterior putamen, an area implicated in goal-directed behavior preceding habit formation. CONCLUSION: Cue-reactivity in alcohol dependence is not modulated by comorbid depression or anxiety. More importantly, the current data confirm the hypothesis of a ventral to dorsal striatal shift of learning processes with longer dependence duration, which could underlie increasingly habitual substance use with progressing substance dependence.
Project description:According to learning-based models of behavior, food cue reactivity and craving are conditioned responses that lead to increased eating and subsequent weight gain. However, evidence supporting this relationship has been mixed. We conducted a quantitative meta-analysis to assess the predictive effects of food cue reactivity and craving on eating and weight-related outcomes. Across 69 reported statistics from 45 published reports representing 3,292 participants, we found an overall medium effect of food cue reactivity and craving on outcomes (r = 0.33, p < 0.001; approximately 11% of variance), suggesting that cue exposure and the experience of craving significantly influence and contribute to eating behavior and weight gain. Follow-up tests revealed a medium effect size for the effect of both tonic and cue-induced craving on eating behavior (r = 0.33). We did not find significant differences in effect sizes based on body mass index, age, or dietary restraint. However, we did find that visual food cues (e.g. pictures and videos) were associated with a similar effect size to real food exposure and a stronger effect size than olfactory cues. Overall, the present findings suggest that food cue reactivity, cue-induced craving and tonic craving systematically and prospectively predict food-related outcomes. These results have theoretical, methodological, public health and clinical implications.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Maladaptive behaviors may be more fully understood and efficiently prevented by ambulatory tools that assess people's ongoing experience in the context of their environment. METHODS:To demonstrate new field-deployable methods for assessing mood and behavior as a function of neighborhood surroundings (geographical momentary assessment; GMA), we collected time-stamped GPS data and ecological momentary assessment (EMA) ratings of mood, stress, and drug craving over 16 weeks at randomly prompted times during the waking hours of opioid-dependent polydrug users receiving methadone maintenance. Locations of EMA entries and participants' travel tracks calculated for the 12 before each EMA entry were mapped. Associations between subjective ratings and objective environmental ratings were evaluated at the whole neighborhood and 12-h track levels. RESULTS:Participants (N=27) were compliant with GMA data collection; 3711 randomly prompted EMA entries were matched to specific locations. At the neighborhood level, physical disorder was negatively correlated with negative mood, stress, and heroin and cocaine craving (ps<.0001-.0335); drug activity was negatively correlated with stress, heroin and cocaine craving (ps .0009-.0134). Similar relationships were found for the environments around respondents' tracks in the 12h preceding EMA entries. CONCLUSIONS:The results support the feasibility of GMA. The relationships between neighborhood characteristics and participants' reports were counterintuitive and counter-hypothesized, and challenge some assumptions about how ostensibly stressful environments are associated with lived experience and how such environments ultimately impair health. GMA methodology may have applications for development of individual- or neighborhood-level interventions.
Project description:Cigarette smoking remains the largest cause of preventable death in the United States and worldwide. In South Korea and other Asian countries, a large proportion of males smoke, increasing the need to examine cigarette smoking in these populations. Research suggests that the association between positive affect and negative affect, and between affect and craving, may differ across cultures, and that it is useful to examine these associations using Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA). South Korean smokers (<i>N</i> = 20, Mean Age = 21.15, 25% female) completed baseline questionnaires and downloaded an EMA app which prompted 4 random assessments (RAs) each day for 1-week. At each assessment, participants responded to items assessing momentary negative affect (NA) and positive affect (PA), craving, and number of cigarettes smoked since the previous EMA assessment. Linear mixed models (LMMs) were used to analyze EMA data (544 assessments), separating out between- and within- subject associations. There was a significant positive association between positive affect and negative affect at the between-subjects level. Both positive affect and negative affect were significantly positively associated with craving at between-subjects and within-subject levels. Craving was associated with subsequent smoking behavior at the within-subjects level. Overall, results suggest that associations between positive affect and negative affect may be different in South Korean smokers than in Western smokers, and that there are robust associations between both negative and positive affect and craving.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Methadone maintenance therapy (MMT) is an efficacious form of medication assisted treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD), yet many individuals on MMT relapse. Chronic pain and deficits in positive affective response to natural rewards may result in dysphoria that fuels opioid craving and promotes relapse. As such, behavioral therapies that ameliorate chronic pain and enhance positive affect may serve as useful adjuncts to MMT. This analysis of ecological momentary assessment (EMA) data from a Stage 1 randomized clinical trial examined effects of Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE) on opioid craving, pain, and positive affective state. METHODS:Participants with OUD and chronic pain (N?=?30) were randomized to 8 weeks of MORE or treatment as usual (TAU). Across 8 weeks of treatment, participants completed up to 112 random EMA measures of craving, pain, and affect, as well as event-contingent craving ratings. Multilevel models examined the effects of MORE on craving, pain, and affect, as well as the association between positive affect and craving. RESULTS:EMA showed significantly greater improvements in craving, pain unpleasantness, stress, and positive affect for participants in MORE than for participants in TAU. Participants in MORE reported having nearly 1.3 times greater self-control over craving than those in TAU. Further, positive affect was associated with reduced craving, an association that was significantly stronger among participants in MORE than TAU. CONCLUSION:MORE may be a useful non-pharmacological adjunct among individuals with OUD and chronic pain in MMT.
Project description:Pregnant women with substance use disorder (SUD) comprise an underserved population with complex treatment needs, including complications from trauma histories and comorbid psychological disorders. Using ecological momentary assessment, we examined momentary fluctuations in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, prenatal bonding, and substance craving, among pregnant women in SUD treatment who had a history of trauma. We hypothesized that (a) PTSD symptoms and prenatal bonding would each be associated with substance craving and (b) PTSD symptoms would be negatively associated with prenatal bonding, and this would at least partially account for the association between PTSD symptoms and substance craving (i.e., indirect effect). Participants (n = 32) were on average 27.1 weeks pregnant (SD = 5.27), 27.8 years old (SD = 4.54), and predominantly Hispanic/Latina (66%). At the within subjects level, higher momentary ratings of PTSD symptoms were associated with lower quality (but not intensity of preoccupation) of prenatal bonding, which in turn was associated with greater craving. Lower quality of prenatal bonding partially mediated the positive association between PTSD symptoms and craving, which remained strong after accounting for prenatal bonding. Our results provide some preliminary support for considering interventions aimed at stabilizing or decreasing PTSD symptoms and stabilizing or increasing prenatal bonding to reduce substance craving and, thus, the risk of perinatal substance use among women with SUD and trauma histories. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).