Exp Clin Psychopharmacol. 2021 Jul 22. doi: 10.1037/pha0000404. Online ahead of print.
Verbal reports of drug effects are often used in behavioral pharmacology. Two reports related to reinforcement are drug use (Harford, 1978; Liu et al., 2018) frequency and drug preference. Anecdotally, some individuals may specify a favorite/preferred drug (e.g., psilocybin) despite using another drug more frequently (e.g., tobacco). Research comparing these two measures has led to contradictory findings and included ratings from participants who may not have experience with the rated drugs. No comparisons have been made between use frequency and preference across multiple drugs in polysubstance users. To compare use frequency and preference for drug classes, and examine relations across drug classes, individuals reporting polysubstance use (N = 428) provided frequency and preference ratings for nine drug classes. Mean ratings showed smoked tobacco, alcohol, and cannabis were the most frequently used and most preferred drugs. Mean ratings showed 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and classic hallucinogens were the least frequently used and least preferred drugs. However, more divergence between use frequency and preference was observed when these metrics were examined among individuals. Correlation coefficients between use frequency and preference were lower than previously published literature. The majority of polydrug comparisons were nonsignificant, and correlations between different drug classes differed depending on whether use frequency or preference was examined. Verbal reports about use frequency are likely not strongly predictive of verbal reports about the same drug preference. Clinicians and researchers should recognize that different verbal reports related to drug reinforcement might be proxies for distinct aspects of reinforcement and should consider these implications for assessment and research findings. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
Source: ncbi 2