Roland Griffiths Ph.D
Professor of Behavioral Biologyrgriff@jhmi.edu
Telephone Number: 410-550-0034
Fax Number: 410-550-0030
Behavioral Biology Research Center #3000
Department of Psychiatry
Baltimore, MD 21205
Behavioral Pharmacology of Drugs of Abuse
1. Benzodiazepines: Behavioral Pharmacology in Humans and Infra-humans: One research program focuses on the behavioral pharmacology of benzodiazepines and related compounds. Human studies involve assessment of subjective effects (e.g., mood changes), behavioral changes (e.g., effects on psychomotor, memory, judgement, and social behaviors), tolerance, and drug self-administration. Research with baboons and rats involves drug discrimination, physical dependence, tolerance, schedule-controlled behavior, drug self-administration, and drug administration to discrete brain sites. By investigating the range of drugs that interact at the GABA/benzodiazepine-receptor/chloride channel complex, these studies will provide information about behavioral and pharmacological mechanisms of action and neuroanatomical sites of action of these widely prescribed therapeutic agents.
2. Caffeine: Behavioral Pharmacology in Humans and Infrahumans: Another research program is examining the reinforcing, discriminative, tolerance-producing, physical dependence-producing effects of caffeine in humans and baboons. The interactive effects of a variety of drugs with caffeine are being explored to provide information about pharmacological and behavioral mechanisms underlying the behavioral effects of relatively low doses of caffeine.
3. Behavioral Pharmacology of Drugs of Abuse in Humans and Infra-humans: In addition to studying the benzodiazepines and caffeine in the paradigms described above, research in baboons, rats, and humans is also conducted with several other classes of abused drugs: opioids, anorectic stimulants, phencyclidine derivatives and hallucinogens. These studies provide information about the behavioral pharmacology and abuse liability of these drugs.