Individual Differences in Tolerance and Relapse

A Pavlovian Conditioning Perspective
  • Riley E. Hinson
Part of the Perspectives on Individual Differences book series (PIDF)

Abstract

Environmental stimuli and events are known to affect the occurrence of relapse in detoxified addicts (cf. Hinson & Siegel, 1982). For example, the likelihood of the detoxified addict’s relapsing may be lessened if he or she does not return to the prior drug-taking environment following treatment (Robins, Heizer, & Davis, 1975). One way in which environmental stimuli may affect relapse is suggested by an analysis of the role of environmental stimuli in tolerance. Tolerance refers to a decrease in the magnitude of a drug effect that occurs with repeated administrations of the same dose of the drug. A substantial amount of research demonstrates that environmental stimuli affect the display of tolerance. For example, Mitchell and co-workers (Ferguson & Mitchel, 1969; Adams, Yeh, Woods, & Mitchell, 1969) reported that the expected tolerant response was displayed to the last of a series of morphine injections only if the final injection was administered in the same environmental context as all the prior injections. Siegel and his co-workers (Siegel, 1975a, 1977; Krank, Hinson, & Siegel, 1981; Siegel, Hinson, & Krank, 1978) have proposed an analysis of the role of environmental stimuli in tolerance based on the suggestion by Pavlov (1927) that the administration of a drug constitutes a classical conditioning trial. According to this analysis, the environmental stimuli accompanying drug administration serve as the conditional stimulus (CS) for the drug effect that constitutes the unconditional stimulus (UCS). Repeated administrations of the drug to the organism in the context of the same cues lead to the development of an association between the environmental CS and pharmacological UCS.

Keywords

Conditional Stimulus Environmental Stimulus Pavlovian Conditioning Conditioning Analysis Morphine Tolerance 
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.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Riley E. Hinson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada

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