Upcoming Club Drug Research at Columbia University – Spring 2006

Autumn 2006 Vol. 16, No. 2 Technologies of Healing

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Only a limited number of laboratory studies have evaluated empirical data regarding the acute effects of “club drugs” in humans. This study will evaluate the residual effects of a broad range of behavioral and physiological measures using moderate doses of several club drugs in human volunteers. Using carefullycontrolled residential laboratory procedures, in which participants live in a laboratory without outside contact for 15 days, researchers will systematically evaluate the effects of club drugs on workplace performance. Workplace performance will be measured using a wide range of tests that evaluate cognitive functions such as divided attention and memory. In these studies, researchers will determine the effects of acute and repeated club drug administration the day of administration, as well as the morning after administration (i.e., “hangover”), on behaviors relevant to workplace perfor- mance. Drugs to be tested include methamphetamine (speed), methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy), gammahydroxybutyrate (GHB), or zolpidem (Ambien).

Low drug doses will be evaluated, minimizing the number of drug deliveries per participant. The primary goal of this NIDA-funded study is to carefully evaluate the effects of club drugs on ongoing behavior under conditions simulating those outside the laboratory. The dosing regimen employed in this study will closely parallel recreational use of club drugs by humans in our society. Because there is little data available from laboratory studies on human performance after repeated controlled administration of club drugs, the proposed studies will make a unique contribution to the scientific database about the acute and residual effects of club drugs.

RESEARCH VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: The Substance Use Research Center at Columbia University seeks healthy men or women (age 21 – 45) users of MDMA/ECSTASY to participate in residential studies evaluating medication effects. Live on a research unit at the NYS Psychiatric Institute for 15-17 days. You can earn approximately $1129.
For information, call (212) 543-5982.