Clinical Psychopharmacology and Neuroscience Papers in Press available online.

Effect of Intensified Transcranial Direct-Current Stimulation (tDCS) Targeting Bilateral Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex (DLPFC) on Craving Reduction in Patients with Opioid (Heroin) Use Disorder
Hadis Amini Tameh 1, Saeed Imani 2,*, Jaber Alizadehgoradel 3, Alireza Noroozi 1
1Master student of Rehabilitation counseling, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran, 22 Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology, Department Clinical and Health Psychology, Faculty of Education & Psychology, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran, 3Department of Psychology, Faculty of Humanities, University of Zanjan, Zanjan, Iran, 4Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Purpose: This study aimed to analyze the effect of the intensified transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS) targeting bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) on craving reduction in patients with opioid use disorder (OUD).
Method: The participants had already completed the detoxification phase and stayed at the camp to resolve their craving and gain occupational skills to reintegrate into the community. The participants were selected using convenience and purposive sampling methods and were then assigned to an experimental group (n=15) and a control group (n=15). The experimental group received ten 20-minute tDCS sessions twice a day for five consecutive days. There was a 20-minute break between the two simulations. The DLPFC was stimulated with a current intensity of 2 mA (anode: F3 and cathode: F4). The control group received a sham stimulation. Both groups completed Franken's Desires for Drug Questionnaire at baseline and after the stimulation sessions. Additionally, they completed the questionnaires once again three months after the end of the treatment to assess treatment retention. The independent t-test, chi-square test, and mixed-design repeated measures analysis of variance were used for data analysis in SPSS 26.
Findings: The intensified tDCS had significant effects on momentary opioid craving reduction in all measured factors, e.g., desire and intention, negative reinforcement, and control (P<0.001). However, the results concerning treatment retention at the 3-month follow-up stage were insignificant for all factors (P<0.001).
Conclusion: Apparently, tDCS can be used as a tool to reduce craving. However, its application as an independent and sustainable treatment remains debatable
Accepted Manuscript [Submitted on 2024-01-01, Accepted on 2024-03-04]