Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Dr. Jennifer Berry


Two of the world’s leading causes of preventable deaths include the use of alcohol and tobacco. While independently these substances have negative consequences, they are often used in combination. For instance, those who are dependent on nicotine are more likely to engage in hazardous drinking and/or have a dependence on alcohol and vice versa. As different methods of consuming nicotine become more normalized, there is a concern of associated harmful alcohol consumption being that both substances are widely available and rewarding. The goal of the current study was to understand the relationship between nicotine and alcohol and the behavioral effects of co-dependence in an animal drinking model. In the current study, C57BL/6J mice underwent intermittent access to a two-bottle drinking paradigm to investigate physical dependence on alcohol, nicotine, or a combination of both. The concentration of alcohol was increased weekly while the concentration of nicotine remained constant. After the consumption period, mice were then subjected to an open field test (OFT) 24 hours after removal of the test bottles to examine the anxiety-like behavior exhibited during withdrawal from these substances. In all concentrations examined, there was a high preference and increased consumption for alcohol compared to the nicotine-only group. The OFT failed to illustrate significant group differences to demonstrate withdrawal. The current data underscores the complicated nature of alcohol and nicotine co-consumption and withdrawal.