Although approximately 32% of all smoked cocaine ('crack') users are women, most studies investigating cocaine use have recruited only male subjects. Therefore, this study examined the smoked cocaine self-administration patterns of female crack abusers. A work requirement, where up to five tokens were earned by subjects, was followed by the administration of a sample delivery of one of three dose sizes [5.0 mg (placebo), 0.2 mg/kg, 0.4 mg/kg] of cocaine. The three dose sizes of cocaine were administered in counterbalanced order across subjects, with each subject receiving one dose size within a session and all dose sizes across the three experimental sessions. A self-administration phase followed the sample delivery, during which a token could be exchanged every 30 min for monetary reimbursement or a delivery of cocaine in the same dose size as the sample delivery. The results show that females' patterns of behavioral and subjective responding to smoked cocaine exhibit clear dose-related effects, thus affirming this self-administration model as safe and appropriate for use with women.
- Gender differences
- Subjective effects