The authors used rats to study the impact of a history of opiate exposures on behavioral and autonomic responses to restraint stress. Brief restraint (30 min) provoked tachycardia and a presser response, anxiety (as indexed by social interaction), grooming, and reduced exploration. The pressor response was reduced at 1 day, but not 7 days, after last opiate exposure; tachycardia was unaffected (Experiment 1). Stress-induced anxiety was potentiated 1 and 7 days after last opiate exposure (Experiment 2), and this potentiation was a function of dose (Experiment 3) and duration (Experiment 4) of opiate exposure. The results show that a history of opiate exposures alters vulnerability to stress and has implications for understanding coping, anxiety, and emotionality in former opiate users.
- Blood pressure
- Heart rate