Script-guided imagery of social drinking induces both alcohol and cigarette craving in a sample of nicotine-dependent smokers

Joel Erblich, Guy H. Montgomery, Dana H. Bovbjerg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Laboratory exposure to alcoholic beverage cues has been demonstrated to elicit urges to drink. Less well examined is the possibility that imaginal cues also elicit such urges, providing a model of conditioned effects not dependent on the presence of physical stimuli associated with alcohol. Studies of possible cross-reactivity between smoking and drinking cues are also scarce. To that end, nicotine-dependent nonalcoholic smokers (n = 54) were exposed to social drinking-relevant, and for comparison, neutral and smoking-relevant standardized script-guided imagery. Cravings were measured before and after each imaginal exposure. As hypothesized, the drinking script induced alcohol and cigarette cravings, providing support for both direct and cross-cue reactivity effects. Further validating the social-drinking script, craving reactions were significantly stronger among participants who reported frequent drinking in social situations. Finally, smoking imagery induced both cigarette and alcohol cravings, providing further support for the cross-cue-induced craving phenomenon. Results suggest that the present alcohol script may be a useful tool for eliciting craving responses under laboratory conditions, and provide an additional means for better understanding addiction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-170
Number of pages7
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Volume34
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Alcohol
  • Craving
  • Cue
  • Imagery
  • Smoking

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