Using a drug-word Stroop task to differentiate recreational from dependent drug use
Smith, Dana G
Cambridge University Press
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Smith, D. G., & Ersche, K. (2014). Using a drug-word Stroop task to differentiate recreational from dependent drug use. CNS Spectrums, 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1092852914000133
Distinguishing dependent from recreational drug use can be a surprisingly difficult task, and the current means for identifying substance abuse can be inadequate or even misleading. In subjective self-reports, those who are most at risk may downplay their consumption, not admitting to the full extent of their habit, and measures purely of quantity of use rarely capture the true nature of an individual's relationship to the drug, such as a psychological dependence on the substance. This trend is particularly true for heavy stimulant use, which is absent of the physical withdrawal symptoms that can help identify opiate or alcohol dependence. As such, a simple objective measure to help identify substance abuse, particularly in individuals who might not otherwise raise suspicion, would be a valuable tool in both clinical and experimental settings. We propose that the drug-word Stroop task, an objective assessment of attentional bias and distraction to salient drug-related stimuli, would be a valuable tool in helping to make these categorizations. This measure has been shown to correlate with drug craving, as well as to successfully distinguish dependent from recreational stimulant users and to help to predict outcomes in treatment-seeking individuals. Here, we survey prior literature on the drug-word Stroop task and provide a perspective on using the assessment as a potential diagnostic for drug use severity.
addiction, attentional bias, recreational drug use, stimulant dependence, Stroop
Original research presented in this review was funded by a Medical Research Council (MRC) grant (G0701497), and conducted within the Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute (BCNI), which is jointly funded by an award from the MRC and Wellcome Trust (G00001354). DGS is supported by a studentship from the Cambridge Overseas Trust. KDE is supported by the MRC.
MEDICAL RESEARCH COUNCIL (G0001354)
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S1092852914000133
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/245222