Social phobia is a newly defined disorder, and treatments for it typically involve pharmacotherapy or some form of in vivo exposure. When combining these therapies, there are three possible outcomes: No effect, an additive effect, or an interference effect. If additive, the pharmacotherapy will enhance the extinction of fear, and it will not increase the chance of relapse after drug discontinuation. If there is an interference effect, the pharmacotherapy will block extinction to the phobic situation, and there will be a relapse of anxiety when placed in the phobic situation in the no drug state. If this is the result, it may be due to state-dependent learning. This study tested to see what effect the combining of a placebo or alprazolam with guided exposure would have on subjective measures of anxiety for a socially phobic patient, and to see if state-dependent learning would be present in the alprazolam + exposure condition. Results suggest that there was state-dependent learning in the alprazolam + exposure condition, and that fear extinction was greater in the placebo + exposure condition.
McGrath '93, Patrick B., "State-Dependent Learning During Alprazolam Assisted Exposure: A Pilot Study of Social Phobia" (1993). Honors Projects. Paper 71.