What is it about?

Women only need an acute stressor (Trier Social Stress Test) to exceed legal drinking limits during alcohol ad libitum. Men need both the prime dose and the TSST to reach dysregulated drinking.

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Why is it important?

This could explain why women get to alcohol use disorders at a faster trajectory than men.


This is the largest alcohol self-administration experiment examining the effects of both stress and a priming dose on both cisgender men and women. It shows that the self-medication model may need refinement regarding sex differences.

Julie Patock-Peckham
Arizona State University

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This page is a summary of: Effects of stress, alcohol prime dose, and sex on ad libitum drinking., Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, December 2021, American Psychological Association (APA), DOI: 10.1037/adb0000801.
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