Suppression of cue-induced heroin craving and cue-reactivity by single-trial transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation at 2 Hz

Addiction Biology
Fei ZhongJi-Sheng Han


The purpose of the present study was to investigate the efficacy of 2 Hz transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) to reduce cue-induced heroin craving and the corresponding cardiovascular responses. Seventy heroin addicts with at least 1 month of abstinence were enrolled and randomly divided into two groups of 35, to receive single-trial 2 Hz TENS (TENS group) or mock TENS (mock group) during experimental procedure, respectively. They were required to express their degree of craving by visual analog scale before and after the presentation of a video-cue, and after TENS treatment, which lasted for 30 minutes. Heart rate and arterial blood pressure were simultaneously monitored in 56 cases, with 28 in each group. Results show that in mock group, video-cue induced a dramatic increase of craving score, which did not return to baseline in 150 minutes, whereas in the TENS group, 2 Hz TENS treatment produced a significant decrease of craving, reaching baseline in 90 minutes. Video-cue induced a significant increase of heart rate and systolic and diastolic blood pressure, which remained elevated for at least 60 minutes in the mock group; whereas in the TENS group, they returned to baseline immediately after the termination of...Continue Reading


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