The establishment of orally delivered etonitazene (a potent opioid) as a reinforcer, was studied in eight rhesus monkeys. Initially, when given concurrent access to 2.5 μg/ml etonitazene and the water vehicle, five of the monkeys rejected the drug, whereas the other three monkeys consumed more drug solution than water. The five monkeys that rejected the drug solution underwent an acquisition phase to establish the drug as a reinforcer. A fading procedure was used to transfer control of responding from a 2% (wt/vol) ethanol solution to a 2.5 μg/ml etonitazene solution. Initially, responding was maintained by contingent deliveries of 2% ethanol. Next, across blocks of six or more sessions, increasing amounts of etonitazene were added in steps to the 2% ethanol solution. Subsequently, the 2% ethanol solution was decreased in steps to zero, leaving only the 2.5 μg/ml etonitazene present. When the fading procedure was completed, dose of etonitazene was varied by increasing the volume delivered, first under fixed ratio (FR 4) and then under an FR 8 reinforcement schedule. The same dose manipulations were made with the three monkeys who did not undergo the fading procedure because they preferred etonitazene over water when first tested. Etonitazene was established as a reinforcer for six of the eight monkeys because drug deliveries exceeded vehicle deliveries across a range of drug doses.
Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior – Elsevier
Published: Apr 1, 1995
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