Acute cortisol administration triggers craving in individuals with cocaine dependence.

Igor Elman*, Scott E. Lukas, Katherine H. Karlsgodt, Gregory P. Gasic, Hans C. Breiter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Stress is often mentioned as a factor in the development of drug abuse.Twelve cocaine dependent individuals were administered a stress hormone, cortisol, along with cocaine and saline via intravenous boluses, in a double-blind, counterbalanced fashion. Self-reports of mood states were collected prior to, during, and 20 minutes after each bolus was administered. Cortisol produced significant increases in craving while cocaine significantly elevated all subjective ratings (ie, craving, high, rush, and low). These pilot data suggest that cortisol can induce a state that is associated with drug abuse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)84-89
Number of pages6
JournalPsychopharmacology bulletin
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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