Volume 8, Issue 3 (Autumn 2006)                   Advances in Cognitive Sciences 2006, 8(3): 43-51 | Back to browse issues page

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Ekhtiari H, Behzadi A, Oghabian M, Edalati H, Mokri A. Evaluation of Visual Cues Inducing Drug Craving in Intravenous Heroin Users. Advances in Cognitive Sciences. 2006; 8 (3) :43-51
URL: http://icssjournal.ir/article-1-209-en.html
1- Cognitive Assessment Lab, National Center for Addiction Studies, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Abstract:   (924 Views)
Objective: Craving forms the core of drug dependence. Craving is the cause of persistence in drug abuse and relapse after a period of abstinence. Therefore, studying the causes of craving induction to avoid or weaken their effects is one of the most important domains in drug related research. Among methods of craving induction, confronting visual cues related to drug abuse is considered to be one of the most important and effective ways. The detection and evaluation of these visual signs and cues, which are highly related to the culture of the society and specific local methods of drug abuse, are particularly important. In this study we try to determine and assess the effectiveness of these factors on Iranian intravenous heroin addicts. 
Method: First, ten main visual conditions supposedly inducing drug craving were identified. Then, five pictures were prepared for each condition. These 50 pictures were numbered and randomly presented to the subjects who were asked to score each picture from 0 to 9 according to their craving inducing effects. The subjects were also asked about the overall effectiveness of the pictures after the completion of the slide show. In this study 32 male IV abusers with the mean age of 34 years and a mean history of IV drug abuse 6 years prior to enrolling in treatment periods, participated with personal consent. 
Results: Data analysis indicated the highest effect to be related to heroin itself (packed or prepared), needle for injection, and the act of injection. Also, statistical analysis showed that the amount of general or specific effect of pictures is not related to period of addition. The assessment of results of general effectiveness of pictures indicated high level of craving induction, but the same cues were weak in inducing physical symptoms such as cramps or sweating. 
Conclusion: The results of this study show a high effectiveness of pictures in craving induction. According to the results of the study, it could be claimed that the more semantic and temporal relation the pictures have with peaks of euphoria during heroin injection, the more effective they are in inducing craving. One thousand toman notes as means of heroin purchase also showed significant craving induction effects in this study.
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Type of Study: Research | Subject: Special
Received: 2006/05/15 | Accepted: 2006/07/24 | Published: 2006/09/23

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