Measurement of Drug Craving During Naloxone-Precipitated Withdrawal in Methadone-Maintained Volunteers

Charles R. Schuster, Mark K. Greenwald, Chris Ellyn Johanson, Stephen J. Heishman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


This study assessed whether naloxone-precipitated withdrawal occasioned opiate craving in methadone-maintained volunteers and whether craving would be greater when an opiate could be taken during withdrawal. Volunteers were injected intramuscularly with saline during 2 sessions and 0.2 mg naloxone during 2 sessions. During 2 sessions (1 naloxone, 1 saline), volunteers were told that if withdrawal distress was intense, they could choose to receive methadone 30 min after the test injection. This choice, however, would result in the loss of $10. Naloxone precipitated withdrawal on observer-rated, physiological, and subjective measures. Opiate craving significantly increased during withdrawal when measured by a multi-item scale but not when measured by a standard single-item question. Withdrawal, mood, and craving measures were not significantly influenced by opiate availability. The concept and measurement of craving and conditions that modulate it are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)424-431
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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