Computer-Assisted Self-Administration of Ethanol

Computer-Assisted Self-Administration of Ethanol

This study will test the reliability of a procedure for self-administering ethanol (alcohol) intravenously (through a vein), using a computer-assisted method. People ordinarily self-administer alcohol through drinking alcoholic beverages, but blood alcohol levels resulting from drinking vary greatly among individuals. For research on alcohol dependence and treatment, a tool for achieving precise blood levels is needed. In addition to testing this method of alcohol administration, the study will examine self-administration behavior and resulting breath alcohol concentration, the effects of alcohol on the participants, and differences between men and women in alcohol self-administration. Healthy normal volunteers between 21 and 45 years of age may be eligible for this study. Participants are assigned to one of two study groups. Group 1 undergoes three 7-hour study sessions and group 2 participates in two sessions, each of which includes the following procedures: - Breathalyzer and urine tests for alcohol and illicit drug use. - Urine pregnancy test for women. - Light lunch. - Questionnaire about health and recent drinking. Alcohol infusion: Subjects are seated in a comfortable chair and instructed on how to use a computer to give themselves a short infusion of alcohol through a catheter (plastic tube) that has been inserted into a vein in their the arm. Sensors are placed on their chest to monitor heart beat and their neck to record skin blood flow. At the start of the session, subjects complete questionnaires about any drug effects and urges to drink they may be feeling. They are trained on how to use the computer to administer alcohol and are then allowed to self-administer alcohol through the catheter any time they like, as long as their peak breath alcohol level does not exceed 0.1 g% (a level that would result from ingestion of 4 to 6 drinks in most people). If that point is reached, the computer automatically inactivates self-administration until the level is lowered again. Breathalyzer readings are taken every 15 to 30 minutes. Subjects may read, watch television or videos or listen to music during the sessions. Recovery: At the end of the 2.5 hours of self-administration, the catheter is removed and subjects can eat, read, watch television and relax in the clinic until their breath alcohol level falls below 0.02 g%, usually after 2.5 to 3 hours, when they can go home by taxi or with a pre-arranged designated driver.

Pharmaceutical medication involved
Patients and healthy individuals accepted

Drug - Alcohol

human laboratory alcohol consumption.

Computer-Assisted Self-Administration of Ethanol (CASE) in Humans