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Role of Smoking Measures Outcomes on Intravenous (IV) Alcohol Self-Administration in heavy Drinkers

Thursday, October 11, 2012 — Poster Session IV

2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Natcher Conference Center, Building 45




  • V. Vatsalya
  • M. A. Coe
  • D.W. Hommer
  • S.E. Barlett
  • M. Heilig
  • V.A. Ramchandani


Nicotine dependence is prevalent in heavy drinkers and alcoholics. This study evaluated IV alcohol self-administration behavior in smoking and non-smoking heavy drinkers. 37 male and female heavy drinkers, aged 21-58 years, underwent a baseline Computer-Assisted Self-infusion of Ethanol (CASE) session as part of a medication study. The CASE session consisted of an initial 25-min priming, followed by 125-min ad lib phases. Self-administration measures included peak breath alcohol level (BrTH), average BrTH (AvgBrTH) and number of button presses. Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT), Fagerstrom Test for Nicotine Dependence (FTND) and breath carbon monoxide (BrCOC); and plasma hepatic biochemical measures were collected and evaluated. There was a significant correlation among self-administration measures in this sample. MANOVA analysis showed significant positive association between AUDIT scores and self-administration measures. AvgBrTH showed a significant positive association with BrCOC, and peak BrTH showed a positive trend with FTND score and BrCOC levels in the smokers. Recent drinking history measures and hepatic measures were not significantly associated with self-administration measures in this sample. Heavy drinkers demonstrated robust IV alcohol self-administration that was associated with measures of hazardous and harmful alcohol use. Alcohol self-administration was positively associated with severity of nicotine dependence.

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