Pavlovian psychopharmacology: The associative basis of tolerance.
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The Pavlovian conditioning analysis of drug tolerance emphasizes that cues present at the time of drug administration become associated with drug-induced disturbances. These disturbances elicit unconditional responses that compensate for the pharmacological perturbation. The drug-compensatory responses eventually come to be elicited by drug-paired cues. These conditional compensatory responses (CCRs) mediate tolerance by counteracting the drug effect when the drug is administered in the presence of cues previously paired with the drug. If the usual predrug cues are presented in the absence the drug, the unopposed CCRs are evident as withdrawal symptoms. Recent findings elucidate intercellular and intracellular events mediating CCRs and indicate the importance of internal stimuli (pharmacological cues and interoceptive cues inherent in self-administration) to the acquisition of drug tolerance and the expression of withdrawal symptoms.
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