Sex Differences in the Response to Abstinence from Alcohol

Study Overview

The purpose of this study is to examine drinking patterns of men and women both over short term and long term intervals.

Study Description

Women progress more rapidly than men from social to problematic alcohol drinking. We propose that this difference may be due in part to a difference in how they respond to abstinence. In laboratory animals, short-term abstinence increases alcohol consumption, with repeated deprivations leading to disordered drinking. We hypothesize that a similar phenomenon exists in humans, and that women are more sensitive to it. We have recently developed a novel translational paradigm to measure response to abstinence in humans. In this experiment, we found that after abstinence women, on average, increased, while men decreased their alcohol seeking. The objectives of this application are to characterize the human post abstinence response in the lab as well as community and understand its underlying mechanisms in moderate-heavy drinkers.

Additional Information

Participants will be paid for their participation.

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