Monkey Drug Trials Experiment

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Title: Monkey Drug Trials Experiment

Authors: Deneau, Yanagita & Seevers

Year: it was done in 1969


The purpose of the experiment was to look at the effects of self-administration on drugs, drug abuse, and drug dependence in humans, by testing it on monkeys. They wanted to observe whether a monkey would become addicted to drugs or not, and to understand better the effects of drugs.

First a method was developed, to teach the monkeys how to self- administer the drugs through intravenous catheters. Then the psychologist injected the monkeys for the first time the drugs. Because they were several monkeys each one received a different drug, some received cocaine, morphine, amphetamines, nalorphine,mixtures, chlorprmazine, mescaline, codeine, pentobarbital, ethanol, and caffeine. The researchers observed a behaviour right afterwards the administration, and after some days they started to provided the prepared drug solutions to the monkeys to see, if they were going to self administer or not, afterwards they were already taught how to do it.


The results show that in consequence of the drug administration the monkeys became dependent on the drugs. The animals were out of their mind, that some tried desperately to escape and they broke their arms. The monkeys that took cocaine suffered convulsions, some other monkeys ripped off their own fingers (possibly because of hallucinations). Another monkey taking amphetamines took all of the fur from his arm and belly, and in the case of cocaine and morphine mixed, the monkeys died after two weeks. The psychological dependence of the drug effects occurs when the monkey voluntarily starts the self-administration of the drug.

The monkeys developed psychological dependence on morphine, codeine, cocaine, d-amphetamine, pentobarbital, ethanol, and caffeine. All of the drugs except caffeine produced psychotoxicity. Monkeys didn’t created a psychological dependence on...
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