The consumption of alcohol is a problem not only in this country (U.S.), but also in many other places in the world. Thus we find the Indians in Peru, Bolivia and other neighboring countries (Ecuador and northern part of Argentina) consuming alcohol to the point that they become alcoholics, in addition to this they also chew coca leaves, plant from which cocaine is extracted.

In an effort to establish the cause for this behavior, we put Sprague-Dawley albino rats on either a poor or good basal diet. Once every other day the rats were injected with a solution of cocaine.

From the results obtained by statistical analysis we conclude, that cocaine at the level used does not affect the intake of alcohol in rats. Diet as shown previously does make a difference. Rats on the poor basal diet tended to drink however more alcohol than water, and gained less weight than rats on the good basal diet.

Since we know that these people (Indians) have a deficient diet, we could assume that alcohol may be one of their sources of obtaining the calories they need. In this study we see that cocaine does not increase the intake of alcohol, this could be due to its well known anorectic effects, as the Indians themselves state that this is one of the reasons they chew coca leaves.

The other part of this study is concerned with nicotine. Since many smokers also drink, the effects of this drug upon alcohol consumption were tested under the same conditions as cocaine. From our study we found that injection of nicotine into the rats did not affect alcohol consumption. Also in this case rats on the poor diet tended to drink more alcohol than water, gaining less weight than rats on the good diet.




Graduate School

First Advisor

U. D. Register

Second Advisor

James W. Blankenship

Third Advisor

Paul Y. Yahiku

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Alcoholism; Cocaine; Nicotine; Diet



Page Count

vi; 41

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


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