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A randomised, double-blind study investigating the relationship between early childhood trauma and the rewarding effects of morphine

Jun 25, 2021

Earlier this week the results of a fascinating study titled “A randomised, double-blind study investigating the relationship between early childhood trauma and the rewarding effects of morphine” were published.  The study used participants with a history of severe childhood trauma and participants with no history of trauma.  Over two sessions participants were given either an active dose (0.15 mg/kg) or low dose (0.01 mg/kg) of morphine in a randomised, double-blind crossover design. 

The results showed that participants with a history of trauma reported more pleasurable effects and a higher desire to have more of the drug during the session.  They also reported less of the negative effects such as feeling nauseous and dizzy when compared to the non-trauma group. These outcomes suggest that there is a difference in opioid reward sensitivity between those who have experienced childhood trauma and those who have not. This may explain the vulnerability of those who have experienced childhood trauma to experience opioid use dependency later in life.

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