To summarize, conditioned drug effects play an important role in the behavior stemming from drug abuse. Stimuli correlated with the administration of a drug, as well as behavior in the presence of that drug, frequently result in those stimuli gaining considerable control over the discriminative effects or reinforcing effects of that drug (or both). Perhaps this is one of the main reasons that drug effects are so compelling and problematic: Not only does the drug itself have powerful effects, but stimuli correlated with the drug also acquire the ability to produce similar effects.

(See also: Addiction: Concepts and Definitions; Causes of Substance Abuse; Memory and Drugs: State Dependent Learning; Research)


Goldberg, S.R., & Schuster, C. R. (1970). Conditioned nalorphine-induced abstinence changes: Persistence in post morphine-dependent monkeys. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 14, 3346.

Goldberg, S.R., & Schuster, C. R. (1967). Conditioned suppression by a stimulus associated with nalorphine in morphine-dependent monkeys. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 10, 235242.

Katz, J. L., & Goldberg, S. R. (1991). Second-order schedules of drug injection: Implications for understanding reinforcing effects of abused drugs. In N. K. Mello (Ed.), Advances in substance abuse, behavior and biological research (Vol. 4). London: Jessica Kingsley.

O'Brien, C. P. (1976). Experimental analysis of conditioning factors in human narcotic addiction. Pharmacological Review, 27, 533-543.

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