Concurrent Exposure to Mephedrone and Cocaine Induces Behavioral Sensitization in Male Sprague-Dawley Rats
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Recent increases in recreational use of bath salts have led to fatalities and dangerous incidents in the United States and the United Kingdom. A common cause of these fatalities is people abusing bath salts with more than one drug in combination. Studies indicate that behavioral sensitization can occur when animals are injected with more than one drug. Concurrently, this study explored the effects of the synthetic cathinone, mephedrone, and cocaine on locomotor activity in a sample of 56 rats. Based on previous findings, it was predicted that stronger behavioral sensitization would occur in the animals that received a combination of cocaine and mephedrone in both the induction and expression phase of sensitization. The findings suggest that the induction of behavioral sensitization is stronger following repeated exposure to a mixture of mephedrone and cocaine compared to treatment with either drug alone. However, cross sensitization to cocaine was not evident in any treatment group following a 10-day drug washout.