Contingency management (CM) is a reinforcement-based approach that provides tangible rewards for objectively verified drug abstinence. CM is the most effective available behavioral intervention for cocaine use disorders; however, response to CM is variable, with significant rates of nonresponse. In the present investigation, we conducted a secondary profile analysis to identify potentially modifiable cognitive-affective characteristics associated with CM response (abstinence vs. continued use) preceding a pharmacotherapy trial for cocaine dependence. Ninety-nine cocaine-dependent, treatment-seeking adults participated in a 4-week baseline CM procedure using high-value vouchers for submission of cocaine-negative urines. Separate profiles for responders and the nonresponders were established using standardized mean scores on relevant pretreatment measures of negative affect, experiential avoidance, cocaine withdrawal/craving, and impulsivity. Results indicated no differences between responder subgroups on baseline levels of negative affect, withdrawal/craving, or impulsivity; however, CM nonresponders, relative to responders, reported significantly higher levels of avoidance and behavioral inflexibility (p < .01) in the context of distressing cocaine-related thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations. These data suggest that emotion regulation skills may serve as a therapeutic strategy for enhancing response to CM for cocaine use disorders. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
Recent studies have suggested that heterogeneity in the level of dopamine activity and function might be useful for identifying a subgroup of cocaine-dependent patients responding better to dopamine-enhancement pharmacotherapy. Here we hypothesized that response to levodopa/carbidopa treatment would be greater in patients with genetically determined low levels of the dopamine metabolizing enzyme dopamine ?-hydroxylase (D?H). Seventy-one cocaine-dependent patients who participated in a 12-week randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial of levodopa/carbidopa were genotyped for the D?H gene (DBH) polymorphism rs1611115. Our results showed that for patients with the low D?H activity genotypes (CT/TT) who received levodopa, the odds of having cocaine-positive urine decreased significantly over treatment compared with placebo-treated patients with the CT/TT genotypes (P=0.004). Individuals with the normal D?H activity genotype (CC) showed no differential response to levodopa. These preliminary results need to be confirmed in a larger sample focusing on the DBH polymorphism.
Abstract Background: Few studies have examined the effects of chronic cocaine use on the resting surface electrocardiogram (ECG) between exposures to cocaine. Methods: 12-lead ECGs from 97 treatment-seeking cocaine-dependent subjects were compared to ECG parameters from 8513 non-cocaine-using control subjects from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study. Results: After matching and adjusting for relevant covariates, cocaine use demonstrated large and statistically reliable effects on early repolarization, bradycardia, severe bradycardia, and heart rate. Current cocaine dependence corresponds to an increased odds of demonstrating early repolarization by a factor of 4.92 and increased odds of bradycardia and severe bradycardia by factors 3.02 and 5.11, respectively. Conclusion: This study demonstrates the novel finding that long-lasting effects of cocaine use on both the cardiac conduction and the autonomic nervous system pose a risk of adverse cardiovascular events between episodes of cocaine use, and that bradycardia is a marker of chronic cocaine use.
Cocaine pharmacotherapy trials are often confounded by considerable variability in baseline cocaine-use levels, obscuring possible medication efficacy. Testing the feasibility of using a prerandomization, abstinence-induction protocol, we screened three candidate medications to explore treatment response in patients who did, or did not, achieve abstinence during an extended baseline phase.
Key characteristics of cocaine dependence include attentional bias to cocaine cues and impaired inhibitory control. Studies suggest that serotonin modulates both cocaine cue reactivity and inhibitory control. We investigated effects of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor escitalopram on cocaine cue reactivity and inhibitory processes in cocaine-dependent subjects. In a double-blind placebo-controlled design, cocaine-dependent subjects received placebo (n=12) or escitalopram (n=11; 10 mg on days 1-3, 20 mg on days 4-24 and 10 mg on days 25-28) orally, once daily for 4 weeks. The cocaine Stroop and immediate memory task (IMT) were administered at baseline, days 1, 4, 11, 18 and 25 after placebo or escitalopram initiation. There were no significant between-group differences in baseline performance on the cocaine Stroop task or the IMT. On day 1 (acute phase), escitalopram produced a significantly greater decrease from baseline than placebo in attentional bias measured by cocaine Stroop task 5 hours post-dose. No significant changes from baseline in attentional bias were observed on subsequent test days (chronic phase). Inhibitory control as measured by IMT commission error rate was not significantly different between two groups in either the acute or chronic phase. Consistent with preclinical data, serotonin-modulating drugs like escitalopram may have acute effects on cocaine cue reactivity in human cocaine users.
This study examined the feasibility of a prize-based contingency-management (CM) approach to encourage interactive voice response (IVR) compliance in a cocaine-treatment study and explored the association between IVR call rate and outcome during a cocaine abstinence-induction trial. Subjects called into the IVR system daily to complete a brief interview assessing cocaine use for the past 24hours. One group earned $1 for each call; the other earned one draw per call from a "prize bowl" with a range of awards. Abstinence was rewarded according to a high-value voucher incentive schedule, which was the same for both groups, and confirmed by thrice-weekly urine testing at clinic visits. Odds of calling were 4.7 times greater (95% CI: 1.23, 17.91) in the prize-CM group than in the fixed dollar CM group. In addition, the percentage of IVR calls was significantly associated with abstinence achievement, ?(2) (1)=5.147, p<.023. The use of prize-based CM to increase the use of IVR is feasible and deserves examination as an innovation for helping participants engage in treatment.
There has been significant progress in personalized drug development. In large part, this has taken place in the oncology field and been due to the ability of researchers/clinicians to discover and develop novel drug development tools (DDTs), such as biomarkers. In cancer treatment research, biomarkers have permitted a more accurate pathophysiological characterization of an individual patient, and have enabled practitioners to target mechanistically the right drug, to the right patient, at the right time. Similar to cancer, patients with substance use disorders (SUDs) present clinically with heterogeneous symptomatology and respond variably to therapeutic interventions. If comparable biomarkers could be identified and developed for SUDs, significant diagnostic and therapeutic advances could be made. In this review, we highlight current opportunities and difficulties pertaining to the identification and development of biomarkers for SUDs. We focus on cocaine dependence as an example. Putative diagnostic, pharmacodynamic (PD), and predictive biomarkers for cocaine dependence are discussed across a range of methodological approaches. A possible cocaine-dependent clinical outcome assessment (COA)-another type of defined DDT-is also discussed. At present, biomarkers for cocaine dependence are in their infancy. Much additional research will be needed to identify, validate, and qualify these putative tools prior to their potential use for medications development and/or application to clinical practice. However, with a large unmet medical need and an estimated market size of several hundred million dollars per year, if developed, biomarkers for cocaine dependence will hold tremendous value to both industry and public health.
Over one-third of all children live with at least one parent who smokes cigarettes, which is associated with compromised child health. The impact of secondhand smoke exposure (SHSe) in medically fragile infants born prematurely is likely to be much higher. The Babys Breath II study tests whether a hospital-initiated, motivational-enhancement program will result in less SHSe relative to conventional care in high-risk, low birthweight (LBW) infants discharged from a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The design and protocol for the ongoing BBII trial is described.
Neuroimaging data suggest that impaired performance on response inhibition and information processing tests in cocaine-dependent subjects is related to prefrontal and frontal cortical dysfunction and that dysfunction in these brain areas may underlie some aspects of cocaine addiction. In subjects with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and other psychiatric disorders, the Intra-Individual Reaction Time Variability (IIRTV) has been associated with frontal cortical dysfunction. In the present study, we evaluated IIRTV parameters in cocaine-dependent subjects vs. controls using a cocaine Stroop task. Fifty control and 123 cocaine-dependent subjects compiled from three studies completed a cocaine Stroop task. Standard deviation (SD) and coefficient of variation (CV) for reaction times (RT) were calculated for both trials with neutral and trials with cocaine-related words. The parameters mu, sigma, and tau were calculated using an ex-Gaussian analysis employed to characterize variability in RTs. The ex-Gaussian analysis divides the RTs into normal (mu, sigma) and exponential (tau) components. Using robust regression analysis, cocaine-dependent subjects showed greater SD, CV and Tau on trials with cocaine-related words compared to controls (p<0.05). However, in trials with neutral words, there was no evidence of group differences in any IIRTV parameters (p>0.05). The Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed-rank test showed that for cocaine-dependent subjects, both SD and tau were larger in trials with cocaine-related words than in trials with neutral words (p<0.05). The observation that only cocaine-related words increased IIRTV in cocaine-dependent subjects suggests that cocaine-related stimuli might disrupt information processing subserved by prefrontal and frontal cortical circuits.
Cocaine-dependent subjects show attentional bias to cocaine-related stimuli, increased impulsivity on questionnaires, and impaired inhibitory control (one component of impulsivity on behavioral tasks). However, the relationship between attentional bias, impulsivity, and inhibitory control in cocaine-dependent subjects is unknown.
New data support use of levodopa pharmacotherapy with behavioral contingency management (CM) as one efficacious combination in cocaine dependence disorder treatment. A potential mechanism of the combined treatment effects may be related to dopamine-induced enhancement of the saliency of contingently delivered reinforcers. Evidence to support this mechanism was sought by evaluating levodopa-enhancing effects across distinct CM conditions that varied in behavioral targets. A total of 136 treatment-seeking, cocaine dependent subjects participated in this 12-week, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of levodopa (vs. placebo) administered in combination with one of three behavioral CM conditions. In the CM-URINE condition, subjects received cash-valued vouchers contingent on cocaine-negative urine toxicology results. In the CM-ATTEND condition, the same voucher schedule was contingent on attending thrice weekly clinic visits. In the CM-MEDICATION condition, the same voucher schedule was contingent on Medication Event Monitoring Systems- and riboflavin-based evidence of pill-taking behavior. Primary outcomes associated with each CM target behavior were analyzed using generalized linear mixed models for repeated outcomes. CM responding in the CM-ATTEND and CM-MEDICATION conditions showed orderly effects, with each condition producing corresponding changes in targeted behaviors, regardless of medication condition. In contrast, CM responding in the CM-URINE condition was moderated by medication, with levodopa-treated subjects more likely to submit cocaine-negative urines. These findings specify the optimal target behavior for CM when used in combination with levodopa pharmacotherapy.
Impulsivity and decision making are associated on a theoretical level in that impaired planning is a component of both. However, few studies have examined the relationship between measures of decision making and impulsivity in clinical populations. The purpose of this study was to compare cocaine-dependent subjects to controls on a measure of decision making (the Iowa Gambling Task or IGT), a questionnaire measure of impulsivity (the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale or BIS-11) and a measure of behavioural inhibition (the immediate memory task or IMT), and to examine the interrelationship among these measures. Results of the study showed that cocaine-dependent subjects made more disadvantageous choices on the IGT, had higher scores on the BIS and more commission errors on the IMT. Cognitive model analysis showed that choice consistency factors on the IGT differed between cocaine-dependent subjects and controls. However, there was no significant correlation between IGT performance and the BIS total score or subscales or IMT commission errors. These results suggest that in cocaine-dependent subjects there is little overlap between decision making as measured by the IGT and impulsivity/behavioural inhibition as measured by the BIS and IMT.
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies of early abstinence cocaine users offer information about the state of the brain when most cocaine users seek treatment. This study examined the relationship between pretreatment brain function and subsequent treatment response in 19 treatment-seeking early abstinence cocaine-dependent (CD) subjects. These subjects and 14 non-drug-using control subjects underwent fMRI while performing a working memory task with three levels of difficulty. CD subjects were then randomized to treatment studies. Results showed CD subjects had significantly lower (random effects, corrected for multiple comparisons) brain activation in caudate, putamen, cingulate gyrus, middle and superior frontal gyri, inferior frontal gyrus pars triangularis and pars opercularis, precentral gyrus, and thalamus compared with non-drug-using controls. Within CD subjects, thalamic activation significantly correlated with treatment response. This study shows CD subjects in early abstinence have alterations of brain function in frontal, striatal, and thalamic brain regions known to be part of a circuit associated with motor control, reward, and cognition. Subjects with pretreatment thalamic deactivation showed the poorest treatment response, possibly related to thalamic involvement in mesocortical and mesolimbic dopamine projections.
This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study compared the effects of high-dose (100 mg/d) naltrexone versus placebo in a sample of 87 randomized subjects with both cocaine and alcohol dependence. Medication conditions were crossed with two behavioral therapy platforms that examined whether adding contingency management (CM) that targeted cocaine abstinence would enhance naltrexone effects compared to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) without CM. Primary outcome measures for cocaine (urine screens) and alcohol use (timeline followback) were collected thrice-weekly during 12 weeks of treatment. Retention in treatment and medication compliance rates were low. Rates of cocaine use and drinks per day did not differ between treatment groups; however naltrexone did reduce frequency of heavy drinking days, as did CBT without CM. Notably, adding CM to CBT did not enhance treatment outcomes. These weak findings suggest that pharmacological and behavioral interventions that have shown efficacy in the treatment of a single drug dependence disorder may not provide the coverage needed when targeting dual drug dependence.
Previous studies have shown that cocaine users have higher levels of impulsivity and impaired decision making; however, few have examined these factors as predictors of treatment success. We obtained baseline neurocognitive measures from 75 cocaine-dependent individuals participating in a 12-week clinical trial targeting impulsivity with behavioral therapies and pharmacotherapy. Participants treated with citalopram had higher cocaine abstinence rates compared to placebo-treated participants. The aim of this secondary analysis study was to determine whether profiles of performance on neurocognitive measures administered at baseline discriminated among patients who achieved abstinence and those who did not. Participants completed the Immediate and Delayed Memory Task, Barratt Impulsiveness Scale-11, and Iowa Gambling Task. Profile analysis results showed different patterns of performance on these baseline measures as a function of outcome. Compared with non-abstinent participants, abstinent participants had higher scores on the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale-11 Non-Planning subscale and better performance on the Iowa Gambling Task. Profile differences for the two outcome groups did not vary as a function of treatment condition. Results suggest that cocaine-dependent patients entering treatment with higher impulsivity and less impaired decision-making abilities may respond favorably to targeted behavioral interventions. Neurocognitive profiles may be useful in understanding population heterogeneity and predicting differential outcomes in subgroups of cocaine abusers.
Alcohol dependence is extremely common in patients with bipolar disorder and is associated with unfavorable outcomes including treatment nonadherence, violence, increased hospitalization, and decreased quality of life. While naltrexone is a standard treatment for alcohol dependence, no controlled trials have examined its use in patients with co-morbid bipolar disorder and alcohol dependence. In this pilot study, the efficacy of naltrexone in reducing alcohol use and on mood symptoms was assessed in bipolar disorder and alcohol dependence.
Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit substance, yet among the least studied in medication development research. Cocaine-dependent individuals frequently also use marijuana; however, little is known about the effect of this combined use on treatment presentation.
No medication is currently approved for the treatment of cocaine dependence, but several preclinical and clinical reports suggest agonist-like medications, e.g., amphetamine analogues, may be a productive strategy for medication development.
This trial compared Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, adapted for therapeutic community treatment (MBTC), with treatment as usual (TAU) for reducing stress and increasing retention in a residential facility for substance use disorders.
Background: Marijuana use is prevalent among patients with cocaine dependence and often non-exclusionary in clinical trials of potential cocaine medications. The dual-focus of this study was to (1) examine the moderating effect of baseline marijuana use on response to treatment with levodopa/carbidopa for cocaine dependence; and (2) apply an informative-priors, Bayesian approach for estimating the probability of a subgroup-by-treatment interaction effect. Method: A secondary data analysis of two previously published, double-blind, randomized controlled trials provided complete data for the historical (Study 1: N?=?64 placebo), and current (Study 2: N?=?113) data sets. Negative binomial regression evaluated Treatment Effectiveness Scores (TES) as a function of medication condition (levodopa/carbidopa, placebo), baseline marijuana use (days in past 30), and their interaction. Results: Bayesian analysis indicated that there was a 96% chance that baseline marijuana use predicts differential response to treatment with levodopa/carbidopa. Simple effects indicated that among participants receiving levodopa/carbidopa the probability that baseline marijuana confers harm in terms of reducing TES was 0.981; whereas the probability that marijuana confers harm within the placebo condition was 0.163. For every additional day of marijuana use reported at baseline, participants in the levodopa/carbidopa condition demonstrated a 5.4% decrease in TES; while participants in the placebo condition demonstrated a 4.9% increase in TES. Conclusion: The potential moderating effect of marijuana on cocaine treatment response should be considered in future trial designs. Applying Bayesian subgroup analysis proved informative in characterizing this patient-treatment interaction effect.
Background: Two stimulant medications, modafinil and d-amphetamine, when tested individually, have shown safety and efficacy for treatment of cocaine addiction. We hypothesized that the combination of modafinil and d-amphetamine, at low doses, would show equivalent or greater benefit in reducing cocaine use compared to higher doses of each individual medication or placebo. Methods: Sixteen week, randomized, parallel-group design with four treatment arms comparing placebo to modafinil 400?mg; d-amphetamine 60?mg; modafinil 200?mg plus d-amphetamine 30?mg. Primary outcome variables, retention and cocaine use, were analyzed on the sample of 73 participants who received the first dose of the study medication. Results: Retention rates did not differ between groups and were generally low, with 40% remaining in treatment at week 12 and 20% at week 16. Participants receiving the combination of modafinil and d-amphetamine showed a trend of increased cocaine use over time with a corresponding low Bayesian probability of benefit (33%). Relatively better cocaine outcomes were observed in the placebo and d-amphetamine only groups. The study medications were generally well-tolerated with few adverse effects, yet rates of adherence were suboptimal (?80%). Conclusion: Data from this preliminary investigation fail to provide evidential support for conducting a larger study of this dual-agonist medication combination for treatment of cocaine dependence.
Background: Positron Emission Tomography imaging studies provide evidence of reduced dopamine function in cocaine dependent subjects in the striatum, which is correlated with prefrontal cortical glucose metabolism, particularly in the orbitofrontal cortex. However, whether enhancement of dopamine in the striatum in cocaine dependent subjects would be associated with changes in prefrontal cortical brain activation is unknown. One novel class of medications that enhance dopamine function via heteromer formation with dopamine receptors in the striatum is the selective adenosine A(2A) receptor antagonists. This study sought to determine the effects administration of the selective adenosine A(2A) receptor antagonist SYN115 on brain function in cocaine dependent subjects. Methodology/Principle Findings: Twelve cocaine dependent subjects underwent two fMRI scans (one after a dose of placebo and one after a dose of 100?mg of SYN115) while performing a working memory task with three levels of difficulty (3, 5, and 7 digits). fMRI results showed that for 7-digit working memory activation there was significantly greater activation from SYN115 compared to placebo in portions of left (L) lateral orbitofrontal cortex, L insula, and L superior and middle temporal pole. Conclusion/Significance: These findings are consistent with enhanced dopamine function in the striatum in cocaine dependent subjects via blockade of adenosine A(2A) receptors producing increased brain activation in the orbitofrontal cortex and other cortical regions. This suggests that at least some of the changes in brain activation in prefrontal cortical regions in cocaine dependent subjects may be related to altered striatal dopamine function, and that enhancement of dopamine function via adenosine A(2A) receptor blockade could be explored further for amelioration of neurobehavioral deficits associated with chronic cocaine use.
While agonist replacement therapies are effective for managing opioid dependence, community treatment programs are increasingly choosing detoxification. Unfortunately, success rates for opioid detoxification are very low, in part, due to physical and psychological symptoms associated with opioid withdrawal. Few behavior therapies specifically address the distressing experiences specific to opioid withdrawal. A novel behavioral treatment, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), works from the premise that the avoidance of unpleasant private experiences (thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations) is ubiquitous yet may be pathogenic, resulting in treatment drop-out and further drug use.
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