The pharmacologic effects of lorazepam (2 mg), buspirone (20 mg, 10 mg), secobarbital (100 mg), and placebo were compared in 15 male, experienced, intermittent nontherapeutic drug users. All drugs produced a “drug effect,” however, buspirone 20 mg was significantly less liked than were lorazepam, secobarbital, or buspirone 10 mg (p < .05) but not placebo. Lorazepam was liked better than were other drugs only at 1 hour and only compared with buspirone 20 and placebo. Compared with other drugs, lorazepam drug effects were greater and resulted in more prolonged impairment of a motor tracking task, standing steadiness, and memory. Buspirone 20 mg significantly impaired memory at 1 hour compared with placebo. Subjects were more likely to identify buspirone as unfamiliar. Because buspirone 20 mg was less liked than were other drugs, dose escalation as part of drug abuse is not likely to occur. Lorazepam also was not particularly liked and was not different from placebo on most subjective abuse-relevant measures.
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