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Original Research | Open Access

Negative urgency and negative affect paradigms in patients during cocaine detoxification treatment: Relationship to craving behaviour

Juán J. Vilapriñoa,bGabriela ClavelaMauricio SilvaaEdgardo O. Alvarezb( )Silvia G. Rattib
Del Prado Clinic, Study and Research in Neuroscience Center, 5500 Mendoza, Argentine
Epigenesis and Experimental Neuropsicopharmacology Laboratory, Medical Sciences Faculty, Catholic University of Cuyo, campus San Luis, 5700 San Luis, Argentine
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Drug addiction is one of the most concerning problems globally. Significant advances have been made in understanding the physiological brain mechanisms underlying addiction to numerous substances, such as alcohol and opioids. Although experimental evidence suggests that addiction to these substances involves common neural structures and pathways, the pathophysiological mechanism underlying addiction to other substances, such as cocaine, remains uncertain. In our study, craving, as a traditional behavioral driving force of drug consumption, was revised and contrasted with alternative behavioral expressions, such as negative and positive affect, which have been shown to complement the complex expression of addictive behavior toward alcohol and other substances, for instance nicotine and opiods. In cocaine addiction, the interaction between craving behavior and the behavioral processes of positive and negative affect is unclear. Thus, we aimed to evaluate these interactions in cocaine consumers in the city of Mendoza, Argentina.

Twenty-seven men and five women were selected after providing informed consent to participate in the detoxifying program of the Psychiatric Clinic Del Prado of the city of Mendoza. Blood samples for cortisol measurement were acquired, and psychometric tests for evaluating positive and negative affect, craving, depression, and impulsivity were performed at the beginning of treatment (t0) and at discharge on day 14 (tF).

Results showed that negative affect and craving behavior decreased at tF. Positive affect showed an inverse relationship with craving at tF. Impulsivity scores improved at the end of treatment; moreover, depression and global clinical impression scores significantly improved. Cortisol blood levels significantly decreased, which suggested that patients were less stressed at tF.

Our results suggest that during cocaine withdrawal, positive and negative affect interact with craving to reduce craving behavior, which lowers the impact of stress on consumption.

Journal of Neurorestoratology
Article number: 100110
Cite this article:
Vilapriño JJ, Clavel G, Silva M, et al. Negative urgency and negative affect paradigms in patients during cocaine detoxification treatment: Relationship to craving behaviour. Journal of Neurorestoratology, 2024, 12(2): 100110.






Web of Science




Received: 25 March 2023
Revised: 22 January 2024
Accepted: 24 January 2024
Published: 12 March 2024
© 2024 The Authors.

This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (