Carl L Hart

New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York City, New York, United States

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Publications (73)340.43 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Illicit drug use and nicotine dependence (ND) frequently cooccur. Yet, to date, very few studies have examined the role of alcohol and illicit drug use in ND persistence. The objectives of this study were to investigate the relationships between specific classes of drug use, abuse, and dependence and the persistence of ND over time among adults in the United States.
    Nicotine & tobacco research : official journal of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco. 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Sub-anesthetic ketamine infusions may benefit a variety of psychiatric disorders, including addiction. Though ketamine engenders transient alterations in consciousness, it is not known whether these alterations influence efficacy. This analysis evaluates the mystical-type effects of ketamine, which may have therapeutic potential according to prior research, and assesses whether these effects mediate improvements in dependence-related deficits, 24h postinfusion. Eight cocaine dependent individuals completed this double-blind, randomized, inpatient study. Three counter-balanced infusions separated by 48h were received: lorazepam (2mg) and two doses of ketamine (0.41mg/kg and 0.71mg/kg, with the former dose always preceding the latter). Infusions were followed within 15min by measures of dissociation (Clinician Administered Dissociative Symptoms Scale: CADSS) and mystical-type effects (adapted from Hood's Mysticism Scale: HMS). At baseline and 24h postinfusion, participants underwent assessments of motivation to stop cocaine (University of Rhode Island Change Assessment) and cue-induced craving (by visual analogue scale for cocaine craving during cue exposure). Ketamine led to significantly greater acute mystical-type effects (by HMS) relative to the active control lorazepam; ketamine 0.71mg/kg was associated with significantly higher HMS scores than was the 0.41mg/kg dose. HMS score, but not CADSS score, was found to mediate the effect of ketamine on motivation to quit cocaine 24h postinfusion. These findings suggest that psychological mechanisms may be involved in some of the anti-addiction benefits resulting from ketamine. Future research can evaluate whether the psychoactive effects of ketamine influence improvements in larger samples.
    Drug and alcohol dependence 01/2014; · 3.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background There is consistent evidence that hookah use is as, if not more, harmful than cigarette use. Yet, hookah users underestimate the potential deleterious effects of hookah use. This study examined the rates of hookah use and associated demographic characteristics in a sample of undergraduates at a small Northeastern university. This study also examined the relationships between hookah use and other substance use, mental health problems, and perceived levels of stress. Methods Data were drawn from the Spring 2009 American Health Association-National College Health Assessment (ACHA-NCHA) at one small, Northeastern university (N= 1799). The relationships between hookah use and other substance use, mental health problems, and perceived stress levels were examined using logistic regression analyses. Results Hookah use (in the past month) was reported among 14.1% (253/1799) of this sample of undergraduates. Hookah users were more likely to use other substances, including cigarettes, cannabis, alcohol, cocaine, and amphetamines. The strongest association emerged between hookah use and alcohol and cigarette use. There were no significant associations found between hookah use and any mental health problems or perceived stress levels. Conclusions Hookah users are significantly more likely to use other substances, including alcohol, cigarettes, cannabis, cocaine, and amphetamines compared with non-hookah users. In contrast to cigarette smoking, hookah use does not appear to be associated with mental health problems or perceived stress levels in this sample of undergraduates. Further investigation into the prevalence and correlates of hookah use is needed in representative population samples.
    Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Despite growing concern about the increased rates of synthetic cannabinoid (SC) use and their effects, only limited data are available that addresses these issues. This study assessed the extent of SC product use and reported effects among a cohort of adult marijuana and tobacco users. Methods: A brief telephone interview was conducted with individuals who had given permission to be contacted for future research while screening for a cannabis/nicotine dependence medication development study (NCT01204723). Results: Respondents (N = 42; 88% participation rate) were primarily young adults, male, racially diverse, and high school graduates. Nearly all currently smoked tobacco and cannabis, with 86% smoking cannabis on 5 or more days per week. Nearly all (91%) were familiar with SC products, half (50%) reported smoking SC products previously, and a substantial minority (24%) reported current use (i.e., past month). Despite a federal ban on 5 common SCs, which went into effect on March 1, 2011, a number of respondents reported continued SC product use. Common reasons reported for use included, but were not limited to, seeking a new “high” similar to that produced by marijuana and avoiding drug use detection via a positive urine screen. The primary side effects were trouble thinking clearly, headache, dry mouth, and anxiety. No significant differences were found between synthetic cannabinoid product users (ever or current) and nonusers by demographics or other characteristics. Conclusions: Among current marijuana and tobacco users, SC product consumption was common and persisted despite a federal ban. The primary reasons for the use of SC-containing products seem to be to evade drug detection and to experience a marijuana-like high.
    Substance Abuse 01/2014; 35(2). · 1.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cocaine dependence involves problematic neuroadaptations that might be responsive to modulation of glutamatergic circuits. This investigation examined the effects of subanesthetic ketamine infusions on motivation for quitting cocaine and on cue-induced craving in cocaine-dependent participants, 24 hours postinfusion. Eight volunteers with active DSM-IV cocaine dependence not seeking treatment or abstinence were entered into this crossover, double-blind trial. Three 52-min intravenous infusions were administered: ketamine (.41 mg/kg or .71 mg/kg) or lorazepam 2 mg, counterbalanced into three orderings in which ketamine .41 mg/kg always preceded the .71 mg/kg dose. Infusions were separated by 48 hours, and assessments occurred at baseline and at 24 hours postinfusion. Outcomes were change between postinfusion and preinfusion values for: 1) motivation to quit cocaine scores with the University of Rhode Island Change Assessment; and 2) sums of visual analogue scale craving ratings administered during cue exposure. Compared with the active control lorazepam, a single ketamine infusion (.41 mg/kg) led to a mean 3.9-point gain in University of Rhode Island Change Assessment (p = .012), which corresponds to an approximately 60% increase over preceding values. There was a reduction of comparable magnitude in cue-induced craving (p = .012). A subsequent ketamine infusion (.71 mg/kg) led to further reductions in cue-induced craving compared with the control. Infusions were well-tolerated. Subanesthetic ketamine demonstrated promising effects on motivation to quit cocaine and on cue-induced craving, 24 hours postinfusion. Research is needed to expand on these preliminary results and to evaluate the efficacy of this intervention in clinical settings.
    Biological psychiatry 09/2013; · 8.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The circadian timing system influences a vast array of behavioral responses. Substantial evidence indicates a role for the circadian system in regulating reward processing. Here we explore time of day effects on drug anticipation, locomotor activity, and voluntary methamphetamine (MA) and food intake in animals with ad libitum food access. We compared responses to drug versus a palatable treat during their normal sleep times in early day (zeitgeber time (ZT) 0400) or late day (ZT 1000). In the first study, using a between-subjects design, mice were given daily 1-hr access to either peanut butter (PB-Alone) or to a low or high concentration of MA mixed in PB (MA+PB). In study 2, we repeated the experiment using a within-subjects design in which mice could choose between PB-Alone and MA+PB at either ZT 0400 or 1000. In study 3, the effects of MA-alone were investigated by evaluating anticipatory activity preceding exposure to nebulized MA at ZT 0400 vs. ZT 1000. Time of day effects were observed for both drug and palatable treat, such that in the between groups design, animals showed greater intake, anticipatory activity, and post-ingestional activity in the early day. Furthermore, there were differences among mice in the amount of MA ingested but individuals were self-consistent in their daily intake. The results for the within-subjects experiment also revealed robust individual differences in preference for MA+PB or PB-Alone. Interestingly, time of day effects on intake were observed only for the preferred substance. Anticipatory activity preceding administration of MA by nebulization was also greater at ZT 0400 than ZT 1000. Finally, pharmacokinetic response to MA administered intraperitoneally did not vary as a function of time of administration. The results indicate that time of day is an important variable mediating the voluntary intake and behavioral effects of reinforcers.
    Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 05/2013; · 2.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cannabis, the most commonly used illicit substance, exerts its primary psychoactive effect via delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ(9) -THC) agonism of cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1). Some users develop a cannabis use disorder and physical dependence manifested by withdrawal symptoms during abstinence. Hence, there is growing public health concern about increasing use of a new generation of synthetic cannabinoid (SC) agonists (eg, JWH-018, CP 47,497) marketed as natural herbal incense mixtures under brand names such as "Spice" and "K2." Anecdotal reports suggest overlapping effects with marijuana when the mixtures are smoked, however, systematic evaluation of SC-related psychoactive properties and adverse effects is lacking. We conducted a systematic review of published reports on SC clinical effects in humans. Most highlight potential toxicity such as acute anxiety and psychosis. In addition, we carefully document three cases in which experienced marijuana users meeting criteria for cannabis dependence with physiologic dependence smoked SC products regularly. The SC mixture effects were reportedly similar to marijuana and well tolerated. The individuals all reported that SC product use effectively alleviated cannabis withdrawal. Biopsychosocial factors associated with SC initiation and usage by the cases help to shed light on psychopharmacologic, clinical, and public health aspects of SC product consumption.
    American Journal on Addictions 07/2012; 21(4):320-6. · 1.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Marijuana withdrawal contributes to the high relapse rates in individuals seeking treatment for marijuana-use disorders. Quetiapine, an atypical antipsychotic, reduces characteristic symptoms of marijuana withdrawal in a variety of psychiatric conditions, including mood lability, sleep disruption and anorexia. This human laboratory study investigated the effectiveness of quetiapine to decrease marijuana withdrawal and relapse to marijuana use in non-treatment-seeking marijuana smokers. Volunteers were maintained on placebo or quetiapine (200 mg/day) in this double-blind, counter-balanced, within-subject study consisting of two 15-day medication phases, the last 8 days of which were in-patient. On the first in-patient day, active marijuana [6.2% delta (9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)] was repeatedly smoked under controlled conditions. For the next 3 days, inactive marijuana (0.0% THC) was available for self-administration (withdrawal). On the subsequent 4 days, active marijuana (6.2% THC) was available for self-administration (relapse). Volunteers (n = 14) who smoked an average of 10 marijuana cigarettes/day, 7 days/week, completed the study. Under placebo, withdrawal was marked by increased subjective ratings of negative mood, decreased sleep quality, and decreased caloric intake and weight loss. Compared with placebo, quetiapine improved sleep quality, increased caloric intake and decreased weight loss. However, quetiapine increased marijuana craving and marijuana self-administration during the relapse phase. These data do not suggest that quetiapine shows promise as a potential treatment for marijuana dependence.
    Addiction Biology 06/2012; · 5.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), the main psychoactive component of the recreational drug ecstasy, is a potent serotonin (5-HT) releaser. In animals, MDMA induces 5-HT depletion and toxicity in 5-HT neurons. The aim of this study was to investigate both presynaptic (5-HT transporter, SERT) and postsynaptic (5-HT(2A) receptor) markers of 5-HT transmission in recently abstinent chronic MDMA users compared with matched healthy controls. We hypothesized that MDMA use is associated with lower SERT density and concomitant upregulation of 5-HT(2A) receptors. Positron emission tomography studies using the SERT ligand [¹¹C]DASB and the 5-HT(2A) receptor ligand [¹¹C]MDL 100907 were evaluated in 13 current and recently detoxified MDMA users and 13 matched healthy controls. MDMA users reported a mean duration of ecstasy use of 8 years, regular exposure, and at least 2 weeks of abstinence before the scans. SERT and 5-HT(2A) receptor availability (binding potential, BP(ND)) were analyzed with a two-tissue compartment model with arterial input function. Current recreational MDMA use was significantly associated with lower SERT BP(ND) and higher 5-HT(2A) receptor BP(ND) in cortical, but not subcortical regions. Decreased SERT BP(ND) was regionally associated with upregulated 5-HT(2A) receptor BP(ND). In light of the animal literature, the most parsimonious interpretation is that repeated exposure to MDMA in humans, even in moderate amounts, leads to damage in 5-HT neuron terminals innervating the cortex. Alterations in mood, cognition, and impulse control associated with these changes might contribute to sustain MDMA use. The reversibility of these changes upon abstinence remains to be firmly established.
    Neuropsychopharmacology: official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology 02/2012; 37(6):1465-73. · 8.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The prevailing view is that recreational methamphetamine use causes a broad range of severe cognitive deficits, despite the fact that concerns have been raised about interpretations drawn from the published literature. This article addresses an important gap in our knowledge by providing a critical review of findings from recent research investigating the impact of recreational methamphetamine use on human cognition. Included in the discussion are findings from studies that have assessed the acute and long-term effects of methamphetamine on several domains of cognition, including visuospatial perception, attention, inhibition, working memory, long-term memory, and learning. In addition, relevant neuroimaging data are reviewed in an effort to better understand neural mechanisms underlying methamphetamine-related effects on cognitive functioning. In general, the data on acute effects show that methamphetamine improves cognitive performance in selected domains, that is, visuospatial perception, attention, and inhibition. Regarding long-term effects on cognitive performance and brain-imaging measures, statistically significant differences between methamphetamine users and control participants have been observed on a minority of measures. More importantly, however, the clinical significance of these findings may be limited because cognitive functioning overwhelmingly falls within the normal range when compared against normative data. In spite of these observations, there seems to be a propensity to interpret any cognitive and/or brain difference(s) as a clinically significant abnormality. The implications of this situation are multiple, with consequences for scientific research, substance-abuse treatment, and public policy.
    Neuropsychopharmacology: official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology 11/2011; 37(3):586-608. · 8.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There are no studies directly comparing self-administration of methamphetamine and d-amphetamine by humans. This study compared intranasal methamphetamine- and d-amphetamine self-administration and characterized the mood, performance and physiological effects produced by the drugs. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study. An out-patient research unit at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Male recreational methamphetamine users (n = 13). Five 2-day blocks of sessions were conducted. On the first day of each block, participants 'sampled' a single methamphetamine or d-amphetamine dose (0, 12, 50 mg/70 kg) and a monetary reinforcer ($5 or $20). Amphetamine plasma levels, cardiovascular, mood, and psychomotor performance effects were assessed before drug administration and repeatedly thereafter. On the second day of each block, participants chose between the sampled reinforcers (drug or money). There were no significant differences between the drugs on the majority of measures. Under the $5 condition, both amphetamines increased self-administration dose-dependently, with 41% drug choices overall. Under the $20 condition, only 17% drug options were selected. Both drugs increased cardiovascular activity and 'positive' mood, although methamphetamine produced more prominent effects on some measures (e.g. heart rate and ratings of 'high'). Methamphetamine and d-amphetamines appear to produce a similar dose-related profile of effects in humans, which supports their equivalence for abuse potential.
    Addiction 11/2011; 107(4):783-91. · 4.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although methamphetamine and alcohol are commonly used together in a binge-like pattern, there is a dearth of empirical data investigating the repeated effects of this drug combination. The current study examined acute and residual mood, performance, and physiological effects of methamphetamine alone, alcohol alone, and the combination. Nine adult male volunteers completed this 20-day within-participant, residential laboratory study. During four 5-day blocks of sessions, participants were administered oral methamphetamine (0, 10 mg) combined with alcohol (0, 0.375, 0.75 g/kg) three times (day 2: AM, day 2: PM, and day 3: PM). Breath alcohol concentrations, cardiovascular, subjective, and cognitive/psychomotor performance effects were assessed before drug administration and repeatedly thereafter. Subjective and objective sleep measures were also assessed; residual effects were assessed on days 3-5 of each block. Following the first drug administration, the methamphetamine-alcohol combination produced greater elevations of heart rate and ratings of "good drug effect" compared to either drug alone. Methamphetamine attenuated alcohol-related performance decrements and feelings of intoxication, whereas alcohol attenuated methamphetamine-related sleep disruptions. By the third administration, many of these effects were significantly diminished, suggesting that participants developed tolerance. Few residual effects were observed. These data show that methamphetamine combined with alcohol produced a profile of effects that was different from the effects of either drug alone. The largely positive effects of the drug combination (i.e., greater euphoria, and fewer performance and sleep disruptions) might explain why these drugs are often used in combination.
    Psychopharmacology 07/2011; 219(1):191-204. · 4.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Despite their chemical similarities, methamphetamine and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) produce differing neurochemical and behavioral responses in animals. In humans, individual studies of methamphetamine and MDMA indicate that the drugs engender overlapping and divergent effects; there are only limited data comparing the two drugs in the same individuals. This study examined the effects of methamphetamine and MDMA using a within-subject design. Eleven adult volunteers completed this 13-day residential laboratory study, which consisted of four 3-day blocks of sessions. On the first day of each block, participants received oral methamphetamine (20, 40 mg), MDMA (100 mg), or placebo. Drug plasma concentrations, cardiovascular, subjective, and cognitive/psychomotor performance effects were assessed before drug administration and after. Food intake and sleep were also assessed. On subsequent days of each block, placebo was administered and residual effects were assessed. Acutely, both drugs increased cardiovascular measures and "positive" subjective effects and decreased food intake. In addition, when asked to identify each drug, participants had difficulty distinguishing between the amphetamines. The drugs also produced divergent effects: methamphetamine improved performance and disrupted sleep, while MDMA increased "negative" subjective-effect ratings. Few residual drug effects were noted for either drug. It is possible that the differences observed could explain the differential public perception and abuse potential associated with these amphetamines. Alternatively, the route of administration by which the drugs are used recreationally might account for the many of the effects attributed to these drugs (i.e., MDMA is primarily used orally, whereas methamphetamine is used by routes associated with higher abuse potential).
    Psychopharmacology 06/2011; 219(1):109-22. · 4.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dronabinol (Δ(9)tetrahydrocannabinol) is approved for HIV-related anorexia, yet, little is known about its effects in HIV-positive marijuana smokers. HIV-negative marijuana smokers require higher than recommended dronabinol doses to experience expected effects. Employing a within-subjects, double-blind, placebo-controlled design, we assessed the effects of repeated high-dose dronabinol in HIV-positive marijuana smokers taking antiretroviral medication. Participants (N = 7), who smoked marijuana 4.2 ± 2.3 days/week, resided in a residential laboratory for two 16-day stays, receiving dronabinol (10 mg QID) in one stay and placebo in the other. Efficacy was assessed with objectively verified food intake and body weight. Tolerability was measured with sleep, subjective, and cognitive assessments. For analyses, each inpatient stay was divided into two phases, days 1-8 and 9-16; we compared dronabinol's effects with placebo in each 8-day phase to investigate tolerance. Despite sustained increases in self-reported food cravings, dronabinol only increased caloric intake in the initial 8 days of dosing. Similarly, sleep quality was improved only in the first 8 days of dosing. Dronabinol's mood-enhancing effects were sustained across the 16-day inpatient stay. Dronabinol was well tolerated, causing few negative subjective or cognitive effects. In HIV-positive marijuana smokers, high dronabinol doses safely and effectively increased caloric intake. However, repeated high-dose dronabinol appeared to result in selective tolerance to these effects. These findings indicate that HIV-positive individuals who smoke marijuana may require higher dronabinol doses than are recommended by the FDA. Future research to establish optimal dosing regimens, and reduce the development of tolerance, is required.
    Psychopharmacology 12/2010; 212(4):675-86. · 4.06 Impact Factor
  • Lena Fan, Carl L Hart
    Psychiatry Research 11/2010; 191(1):84; author reply 85. · 2.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Zolpidem attenuates shift-change-related sleep and performance disruptions. It is unknown whether these benefits alter the reinforcing effects of the drug during shift work. This study examined zolpidem-related reinforcing effects during simulated shift work. Eleven volunteers (3F, 8M) completed this 16-day within-participant, residential laboratory study. Each day participants were given an opportunity to self-administer oral zolpidem (10mg) or receive a $1 voucher immediately following a 9-h work period and immediately before going to bed. Participants worked under two shift conditions: (1) during the night shift, participants completed computerized task batteries from 00:30 to 09:30h and went to bed at 16:00h and (2) during the day shift, participants completed task batteries from 08:30 to 17:30h and went to bed at 24:00h. Shift conditions alternated three times during the study. Despite the fact that sleep, psychomotor performance, and some ratings of mood were disrupted during night-shift work, there was no significant effect of shift on choice to take zolpidem. Overall, participants selected markedly fewer zolpidem doses than monetary vouchers (17% versus 83%). Thus, zolpidem did not serve as a reinforcer even when sleep was disrupted. These data are consistent with previous reports indicating that sedatives produce limited reinforcing effects in individuals without a history of drug abuse.
    Drug and alcohol dependence 11/2010; 112(1-2):168-71. · 3.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Previously, we reported that acute marijuana intoxication minimally affected complex cognitive performance of daily marijuana smokers. It is possible that the cognitive tests used were insensitive to marijuana-related cognitive effects. In the current study, electroencephalographic (EEG) signals were recorded as daily marijuana users performed additional tests of immediate working memory and delayed episodic memory, before and after smoking marijuana. Research volunteers (N=24), who reported smoking approximately 24 marijuana cigarettes/week, completed this study. Participants completed baseline computerized cognitive tasks, smoked a single marijuana cigarette (0%, 1.8%, or 3.9% (9)-THC w/w), and completed additional cognitive tasks; sessions were separated by at least 72-hours. Cardiovascular and subjective effects were also assessed throughout sessions. Overall performance accuracy was not significantly altered by marijuana, although the drug increased response times during task performance and induced a response bias towards labeling "new" words as having been previously seen in the verbal episodic memory task. Marijuana reduced slow wave evoked potential amplitude in the episodic memory task and decreased P300 amplitude and EEG power in the alpha band in the spatial working memory task. Heart rate and "positive" subjective-effect ratings were increased in a (9)-THC concentration-dependent manner. Relative to previous findings with infrequent marijuana users, the frequent users in the current study exhibited similar neurophysiological effects but more subtle performance effects. These data emphasize the importance of taking into account the drug-use histories of research participants and examining multiple measures when investigating marijuana-related effects on cognitive functioning.
    Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 09/2010; 96(3):333-41. · 2.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The ability to control craving for substances that offer immediate rewards but whose long-term consumption may pose serious risks lies at the root of substance use disorders and is critical for mental and physical health. Despite its importance, the neural systems supporting this ability remain unclear. Here, we investigated this issue using functional imaging to examine neural activity in cigarette smokers, the most prevalent substance-dependent population in the United States, as they used cognitive strategies to regulate craving for cigarettes and food. We found that the cognitive down-regulation of craving was associated with (i) activity in regions previously associated with regulating emotion in particular and cognitive control in general, including dorsomedial, dorsolateral, and ventrolateral prefrontal cortices, and (ii) decreased activity in regions previously associated with craving, including the ventral striatum, subgenual cingulate, amygdala, and ventral tegmental area. Decreases in craving correlated with decreases in ventral striatum activity and increases in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex activity, with ventral striatal activity fully mediating the relationship between lateral prefrontal cortex and reported craving. These results provide insight into the mechanisms that enable cognitive strategies to effectively regulate craving, suggesting that it involves neural dynamics parallel to those involved in regulating other emotions. In so doing, this study provides a methodological tool and conceptual foundation for studying this ability across substance using populations and developing more effective treatments for substance use disorders.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 08/2010; 107(33):14811-6. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Only a small percentage of individuals seeking treatment for their marijuana use achieves sustained abstinence, suggesting more treatment options are needed. We investigated the effects of baclofen (study 1) and mirtazapine (study 2) in a human laboratory model of marijuana intoxication, withdrawal, and relapse. In study 1, daily marijuana smokers (n = 10), averaging 9.4 (+/-3.9) marijuana cigarettes/day, were maintained on placebo and each baclofen dose (60, 90 mg/day) for 16 days. In study 2, daily marijuana smokers (n = 11), averaging 11.9 (+/-5.3) marijuana cigarettes/day, were maintained on placebo and mirtazapine (30 mg/day) for 14 days each. Medication administration began outpatient prior to each 8-day inpatient phase. On the first inpatient day of each medication condition, participants smoked active marijuana (study 1: 3.3% THC; study 2: 6.2% THC). For the next 3 days, they could self-administer placebo marijuana (abstinence phase), followed by 4 days in which they could self-administer active marijuana (relapse phase); participants paid for self-administered marijuana using study earnings. In study 1, during active marijuana smoking, baclofen dose-dependently decreased craving for tobacco and marijuana, but had little effect on mood during abstinence and did not decrease relapse. Baclofen also worsened cognitive performance regardless of marijuana condition. In study 2, mirtazapine improved sleep during abstinence, and robustly increased food intake, but had no effect on withdrawal symptoms and did not decrease marijuana relapse. Overall, this human laboratory study did not find evidence to suggest that either baclofen or mirtazapine showed promise for the potential treatment of marijuana dependence.
    Psychopharmacology 08/2010; 211(2):233-44. · 4.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Researchers have identified the association between the use of cocaine and sexual behavior as an important risk factor for HIV infection and have attempted to elucidate the nature of this association. Several lines of research have suggested that facilitation of sexual behavior during intoxication with cocaine may be because of the direct pharmacological effects of the drug (e.g., increase in sexual desire), whereas others have pointed to the importance of factors related to the context of drug use (e.g., opportunities for sexual behavior, expectations about the effects of the drug, social norms). The present study explored the perceived effects of cocaine and heroin on sexual behavior, as well as the social context of drug use as a function of drug type (cocaine vs. heroin), among 46 inner-city drug users who reported a history of regular use of both crack cocaine and heroin. Results indicated that compared to heroin, cocaine had deleterious effects on participants' perceived sexual desire and performance. Despite such deleterious effects on sexual behavior, cocaine was more frequently used with an intimate partner than heroin. Furthermore, participants did not differ in the extent to which they used the two drugs in other social contexts (e.g., with friends, family, or neighbors). These preliminary results suggest that the relationship between cocaine and sexual behavior, especially among long-term cocaine users, may be facilitated by opportunities for sex that exist in the context of cocaine use, rather than by the pharmacological effects of the drug.
    Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology 06/2010; 18(3):214-20. · 2.55 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
340.43 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2001–2014
    • New York State Psychiatric Institute
      • Anxiety Disorders Clinic
      New York City, New York, United States
  • 2000–2014
    • Columbia University
      • • Department of Psychology
      • • Department of Psychiatry
      New York City, New York, United States
  • 2012
    • University of Virginia
      • Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences
      Charlottesville, VA, United States