Social Influences in Animal Models of Opiate Addiction

Seven E. Tomek, Michael Olive

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

8 Scopus citations


Opiate addiction has reached an epidemic prevalence in recent years, yet social influences on the use and abuse of opiates has been widely understudied. In particular, the neurobiological substrates of opiate addiction and their modulation by social influences are largely unknown, perhaps due to the lack of widespread incorporation of social variables into animal models of opiate addiction. As reviewed here, animal models such as oral and intravenous drug self-administration, conditioned place preference, behavioral sensitization, and the effects of various stressors, have been useful in identifying some of the neurochemical circuitry that mediate social influences on opiate addiction. However, it is clear from our review that newer paradigms that incorporate various social elements are greatly needed to provide more translational insights into the neurobiological basis of opiate addiction. These elements include social and environmental enrichment, presence of conspecifics, and procedures that require subjects to exert effort to engage in prosocial behavior. A wider implementation of social variables into animal models of opiate addiction will help inform neurobehavioral strategies to increase the efficacy of treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Review of Neurobiology
EditorsM. Foster Olive, Seven E. Tomek
PublisherAcademic Press Inc
Number of pages27
ISBN (Print)9780128154694
StatePublished - 2018

Publication series

NameInternational Review of Neurobiology
ISSN (Print)0074-7742
ISSN (Electronic)2162-5514


  • Addiction
  • Heroin
  • Opiate
  • Rodent model
  • Social behavior
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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