10. Measuring Direct Effects of Drugs of Abuse in Humans

  1. James MacKillop and
  2. Harriet de Wit
  1. Harriet de Wit

Published Online: 15 JAN 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118384404.ch10

The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Addiction Psychopharmacology

The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Addiction Psychopharmacology

How to Cite

de Wit, H. (2013) Measuring Direct Effects of Drugs of Abuse in Humans, in The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Addiction Psychopharmacology (eds J. MacKillop and H. de Wit), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118384404.ch10

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JAN 2013
  2. Published Print: 15 FEB 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781119978268

Online ISBN: 9781118384404

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Keywords:

  • psychoactive drugs;
  • behavioral measures;
  • drug challange studies;
  • human psychopharmacology;
  • physiological effects;
  • subjective effects

Summary

This chapter reviews some of the methods used in drug challenge studies that investigate the direct effects of psychoactive drugs in human volunteers. Drug challenge studies provide a means to directly assess the physiological, subjective, and behavioral effects of drugs, under controlled conditions. The chapter first reviews some of the applications of drug challenge studies to scientific, regulatory and clinical questions. It summarizes important issues that arise in such studies, including questions about design, expectancies and blinding, ethics and safety, dosing, and subject sample selection and environmental testing conditions. Then it discusses the primary outcome measures obtained in these studies, including subjective ratings of drug effects, simple physiological effects, and tasks designed to assess specific behavioral constructs. It describes principles for selecting measures, selecting participants, and designing the studies, emphasizing the importance of ethical considerations including safety and confidentiality.