Delay discounting in currently using and currently abstinent cocaine-dependent outpatients and non-drug-using matched controls

Sarah H. Heil, Matthew W. Johnson, Stephen T. Higgins, Warren K. Bickel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Higher rates of delay discounting have been consistently noted in substance abusers compared to non-drug-using matched controls. Additional data from some studies comparing discounting rates in current versus former substance abusers suggest that discounting rates may be adaptable and that drug abstinence may be associated with reductions in discounting. The primary purpose of the present study was to determine whether a period of cocaine abstinence (at least 30 days) resulted in altered discounting rates of money in a population of primary cocaine-dependent patients compared to current cocaine users and non-drug-using matched controls. Results suggest that there was no difference in discounting between currently abstinent and currently using cocaine-dependent outpatients. When these two groups were combined, cocaine-dependent patients showed higher discounting rates than non-drug-using matched controls. These data replicate previous work in cocaine-dependent and other substance abusers compared to non-drug-using controls and suggest that a longer period of abstinence may be required to modify discounting in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1290-1294
Number of pages5
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Volume31
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2006

Keywords

  • Abstinence
  • Cocaine
  • Delay discounting
  • Discounting rates
  • Substance abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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