Drug preference and mood in humans: diazepam. Academic Article uri icon


  • A group of ten normal human volunteers participated in choice experiments comparing d-amphetamine or diazepam with placebo and with each other. Although amphetamine was preferred to placebo by most subjects, 2 mg diazepam and placebo were chosen equally. However, placebo was chosen over higher doses (5 and 10 mg) of diazepam and 5 mg d-amphetamine was preferred to 2 mg diazepam. Subjective effects were assessed using the Profile of Mood States (POMS) before drug was taken and 1, 3, and 6 h later. Compared to placebo, amphetamine produced changes in mood on the POMS including increases in Vigor and Arousal. Doses of 5 and 10 mg diazepam produced decreases in Vigor and Arousal and increases in Fatigue and Confusion. The effects of diazepam were most pronounced 1 h after ingestion and appeared dose-dependent. For one subject who consistently chose diazepam, its subjective effects were similar to placebo and he stated that he could not distinguish them. These results are discussed in terms of the abuse liability of diazepam.

publication date

  • January 1, 1980