Intact responses to non-drug rewards in long-term opioid maintenance treatment.

08:00 EDT 31st March 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Intact responses to non-drug rewards in long-term opioid maintenance treatment."

Disruption of non-drug reward processing in addiction could stem from long-term drug use, addiction-related psychosocial stress, or a combination of these. It remains unclear whether long-term opioid maintenance treatment (OMT) disrupts reward processing. Here, we measured subjective and objective reward responsiveness in 26 previously heroin-addicted mothers in >7 years stable OMT with minimal psychosocial stress and illicit drug use. The comparison group was 30 healthy age-matched mothers (COMP). Objective reward responsiveness was assessed in a two-alternative forced-choice task with skewed rewards. Results were also compared to performance from an additional 968 healthy volunteers (meta-analytic approach). We further compared subprocesses of reward-based decisions across groups using computational modelling with a Bayesian drift diffusion model of decision making. Self-reported responsiveness to non-drug rewards was high for both groups (means: OMT = 6.59, COMP = 6.67, p = 0.84, BF = 0.29), yielding moderate evidence against subjective anhedonia in this OMT group. Importantly, the mothers in OMT also displayed robust reward responsiveness in the behavioral task (t = 2.72, p = 0.013, BF = 3.98; d = 0.61). Monetary reward changed their task behavior to the same extent as the local comparison group (reward bias OMT = 0.12, COMP = 0.12, p = 0.96, BF = 0.18) and in line with data from 968 healthy controls previously tested. Computational modelling revealed that long-term OMT did not even change decision subprocesses underpinning reward behavior. We conclude that reduced sensitivity to rewards and anhedonia are not necessary consequences of prolonged opioid use.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
ISSN: 1740-634X


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