Matching Items (25)

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Twelve-Step Programs and Buddhism in Treating Addiction to Alcohol and Drugs

Description

Common treatments for substance addiction in the United States (U.S) are the twelve-step programs of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). However, there is a lack of evidence indicating the effectiveness of AA and NA as substance addiction treatment

Common treatments for substance addiction in the United States (U.S) are the twelve-step programs of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). However, there is a lack of evidence indicating the effectiveness of AA and NA as substance addiction treatment methods. The U.S. is currently grappling with one of its worst-ever alcohol and drug crises, illustrating that now more than ever it is necessary to examine alternative treatment methods for substance addiction to successfully treat this type of addiction. Thus, Buddhism can be seen as both a complement to and alternative for AA and NA treatment programs for treating substance addiction. The Buddhist teachings and practices of the Four Noble Truths, The Eightfold Path, mindfulness, and meditation can be used to treat substance addiction. Although only recently utilized in the U.S. to treat substance addiction, Buddhist teachings and practices offer a nontheistic approach to recovery which research has shown to be successful in treating substance addiction in countries with established Buddhist cultures. By determining what treatment method is most successful in treating this type of addiction, the U.S. will be able to effectively reduce substance addiction rates -- which is crucial to protect the health, safety, and quality of life for all.

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2019-05

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The Effects of a Novel Serotonin-7 Receptor (5-HT7R) Antagonist, MC-RG19, on Cocaine-Related Behaviors

Description

The serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) system is implicated in the study of drug addiction. Of the 14 known serotonin receptor subtypes, the 5-HT7R is the most recently discovered and, therefore, one of the least rigorously studied. However, the 5-HT7R has been

The serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) system is implicated in the study of drug addiction. Of the 14 known serotonin receptor subtypes, the 5-HT7R is the most recently discovered and, therefore, one of the least rigorously studied. However, the 5-HT7R has been shown to play a role in multiple psychiatric conditions, including depression, anxiety, and alcoholism. This is not surprising, as the 5-HT7R is expressed in brain regions associated with emotion and reward, such as the amygdala, dorsal raphe nucleus, and striatum. MC-RG19 is a novel 5-HT7R antagonist which has >114-fold selectivity for the 5-HT7 over other serotonin receptors. This compound was developed by our collaborators at the Temple University School of Pharmacy. Due to this specificity, and the implications of the 5-HT7 in behavior, we hypothesized that MC-RG19 would have an effect on addiction-related behaviors. We investigated the effects of MC-RG19 on spontaneous locomotion, cue-induced reinstatement, and cocaine/sucrose multiple schedule self-administration. We observed a dose-dependent decrease in spontaneous locomotor activity with significance at a MC-RG19 dose of 10 mg/kg. A dose of 5.6 mg/kg, which did not significantly decrease locomotion, significantly reduces cocaine-seeking behavior (active lever pressing) in response to the reintroduction of drug-paired cues after a period of extinction. No dose (3, 5.6, or 10 mg/kg) produced a significant effect on a multiple schedule of self-administration with alternating availability of sucrose and cocaine as the reinforcer. These results indicate that MC-RG19 has an effect on the incentive \u2014 motivational properties of reward-paired cues.

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2018-05

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Establishing a Model of Opioid and Cocaine Co-Use

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With opioid use disorder (OUD) being an epidemic, it is important to investigate the mechanisms as to why this is so. This study established a self-administration paradigm to model and investigate the mechanisms of polysubstance, sequential use in conjunction with

With opioid use disorder (OUD) being an epidemic, it is important to investigate the mechanisms as to why this is so. This study established a self-administration paradigm to model and investigate the mechanisms of polysubstance, sequential use in conjunction with the analysis of withdrawal symptomatology driven by opioid withdrawal. The independent variables were dichotomized into the control group (food/cocaine) and the experimental group (oxycodone/cocaine). We hypothesized that more cocaine would be self-administered on the first day of oxycodone withdrawal. In addition, we hypothesized that somatic signs of withdrawal would increase at 16 hours post-oxycodone self-administration. Finally, we hypothesized that cocaine intake during oxycodone withdrawal would potentiate subsequent oxycodone self-administration. Our findings revealed that animals readily discriminated between the active (food or oxycodone) and inactive levers - but will however require more animals to achieve the appropriate power. Further, the average cocaine infusions across phases exhibited significance between the oxycodone/cocaine and food/cocaine group, with the average cocaine infusions being lower in food than in oxycodone-experienced animals. This implies that the exacerbation of the sequential co-use pattern in this case yields an increase in cocaine infusions that may be driven by oxycodone withdrawal. Further, to characterize withdrawal from oxycodone self-administration, somatic signs were examined at either 0 or 16 hrs following completion of oxycodone self-administration. The oxycodone/cocaine group exhibited significantly lower body temperature at 16 hrs of oxycodone withdrawal compared to 0 hrs. No differences in somatic signs of withdrawal in the food/cocaine group was found between the two timepoints. Oxycodone withdrawal was not found to potentiate any subsequent self-administration of oxycodone. Future research is needed to uncover neurobiological underpinnings of motivated polysubstance use in order to discover novel pharmacotherapeutic treatments to decrease co-use of drugs of abuse. Overall, this study is of importance as it is the first to establish a working preclinical model of a clinically-relevant pattern of polysubstance use. By doing so, it enables an exceptional opportunity to examine co-use in a highly-controlled setting.

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2020-05

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Pharmacotherapeutic Potential of 5-HT1BR Agonists for Cocaine Use Disorders

Description

Cocaine use remains a prevalent problem, yet there are no effective pharmacological treatments against cocaine use disorders. Cocaine is known to affect serotonin neurotransmission in the brain. Previous data has shown the modulatory role of CP 94,253, a serotonin 1B

Cocaine use remains a prevalent problem, yet there are no effective pharmacological treatments against cocaine use disorders. Cocaine is known to affect serotonin neurotransmission in the brain. Previous data has shown the modulatory role of CP 94,253, a serotonin 1B receptor (5-HT1BR) agonist on cocaine self-administration at different periods of the use-abstinence-relapse cycle. CP 94,253 facilitates cocaine self-administration in rats during the use maintenance phase, where rats are receiving daily intake of cocaine, yet attenuates it after a period of abstinence, when drug delivery is discontinued and rats are placed in home cages. Here we study the therapeutic potential of 5-HT1BR agonist pre-treatment on cocaine self-administration during these different time periods. Male and free-cycling female rats were trained to lever-press for cocaine (0.75 mg/kg i.v.) or sucrose pellets, until they met stable performance for total number of infusions on a fixed ratio 5 schedule of reinforcement. Rats were then tested with either the FDA-approved but less selective 5-HT1BR agonist zolmitriptan (3, 5.6, and 10 mg/kg s.c.; in descending order) prior to a period of abstinence or the more selective 5-HT1BR agonist CP 94,253 (5.6 mg/kg s.c.) after a period of prolonged abstinence and relapse (i.e. resumption of daily cocaine self-administration after a period of abstinence). Each session ran for 2 hours during which the training dose was available for the 1st hour and a low dose of cocaine (0.075 mg/kg i.v.) for the 2nd hour. Zolmitriptan was found to attenuate cocaine self-administration measures at a dose of 3 and 5.6 mg/kg when testing at the low dose of cocaine and at all three doses (3, 5.6, and 10 mg/kg) when testing at the training dose of cocaine. Zolmitriptan at the doses effective at attenuating cocaine intake did not alter sucrose self-administration. CP 94,253 (5.6 mg/kg s.c.) was found to have significant attenuative effects on self-administration measures both after a period of prolonged abstinence and after a period of relapse. Overall, these experiments showed that zolmitriptan decreased cocaine reinforcement without altering sucrose reinforcement as well as that CP 94,253 attenuates cocaine intake even after a period of relapse. These findings support the therapeutic potential of 5-HT1BR agonists as pharmacological treatments for cocaine use disorders.

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2020-05

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D3 receptor related drugs MC-250041 and LS-3-134 and their effects on locomotor activity and motivation for cocaine

Description

Abstract Cocaine is highly addictive because it exacerbates the action responsible for creating the feeling of "reward," which is controlled by the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine receptors can be divided into five subtypes: D1, D2, D3, D4, and D5. The localization

Abstract Cocaine is highly addictive because it exacerbates the action responsible for creating the feeling of "reward," which is controlled by the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine receptors can be divided into five subtypes: D1, D2, D3, D4, and D5. The localization of D3 receptors is restricted to the mesolimbic pathway, which is often called the "reward pathway." This pathway is associated with emotions, motivation, and behavior. There is evidence that these receptors are upregulated in response to the repeated use of psychostimulants, such as cocaine, making these receptors a potential target for pharmaceutical therapeutics for drug addiction. In the present study, two compounds selective for D3 receptors, MC-250041 and LS-3-134, were examined for their effects on spontaneous and cocaine-primed locomotor activity. The present study also aimed to examine the effects of MC-250041 and LS-3-134 on the number of lever presses and infusions under a progressive ratio (PR) schedule when subjects are trained to self-administer cocaine within an operant conditioning chamber. Based on the present research on D3 receptor compounds and D3Rs, I hypothesized that pretreatment with MC-250041 or LS-3-134 decreases cocaine self-administration under a progressive ratio (PR) schedule of cocaine reinforcement at doses that would have no effect on locomotor activity. The results showed no significant effects on spontaneous or cocaine-primed locomotor activity following an injection of MC-250041 (1, 3, 5.6 mg/kg IP). Similarly, there was no change in the amount of lever presses or drug infusions within an operant conditioning chamber at any of the examined doses of MC-250041 (3, 5.6, 10 mg/kg IP) during self-administration. LS-3-134 decreased cocaine-primed locomotor activity, as well as lever presses and infusions during self-administration at the 5.6 mg/kg dose; however, there was no effect on spontaneous locomotor activity at any of the examined doses (1, 3.2, 5.6 mg/kg IP). In conclusion, the results of the study suggest that LS-3-134 effectively reduced motivation for cocaine at the 5.6 mg/kg dose; whereas, MC-250041 was unsuccessful at warranting any significant effect on motivation for cocaine at any of the examined doses.

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2017-05

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Why we need to end the war on drugs

Description

The main objective of the research was to gather as much information and arguments about why we need to end the war on drugs and put them into one piece of work that was compelling and thorough, but also concise.

The main objective of the research was to gather as much information and arguments about why we need to end the war on drugs and put them into one piece of work that was compelling and thorough, but also concise. This goal was achieved through first explaining how addiction is strongly related to the environment around the addict and whether they have adequate tools to bond with those around them. After coming to the conclusion that the war on drugs has been a failure and is misunderstood by most people, the strategy for legalization of recreational drugs was outlined as well as the economic, social, and health benefits of pursuing that strategy. The conclusion is that while the war on drugs has good intentions, it has been largely ineffective and imposed cruel punishments on addicts that end up causing more harm than they prevent, it is time to move forward and legalize all recreational drug use with licensed sales, harm reduction programs, and proper education to create a more effective strategy of preventing drug use and the harm it brings.

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2017-05

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Drug Courts: A Method to Reduce Recidivism

Description

The author examines drug court as a means to reduce recidivism rates for individuals who are addicted to illegal substances. The thesis analyzes the best practices for drug courts in treating addiction and lowering recidivism. In conducting this analysis, the

The author examines drug court as a means to reduce recidivism rates for individuals who are addicted to illegal substances. The thesis analyzes the best practices for drug courts in treating addiction and lowering recidivism. In conducting this analysis, the author focuses on the Yuma County Drug Court Program (YCDC). After discussing the major components of the YCDC program, the author reaches several conclusions about the program. The author's conclusions are based in part on a study analyzing the recidivism rates for individuals who participated in YCDC from January 1, 2007 through December 31, 2010. The author concludes that an effective drug court program requires proper screening and assessment using validated assessment tools that ensure delivery of treatment to individuals with high substance abuse treatment needs. In addition, drug courts must include counseling in both sober individual and group settings, cognitive restructuring, life skills training, and frequent interaction with the drug court judge. The author also concludes that drug courts are more successful when they stress accountability and independence by requiring participants to maintain a stable residence and employment. In YCDC these practices lead to 48.4% of individuals participating in the 18-month program having no criminal justice involvement for a period of three years after their exit from the program. Other important outcomes showed that well over 90% of the participants' drug tests were negative and 87% of the participants were employed. The author concludes that the YCDC program provides a good model for drug courts seeking to lower recidivism.

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2018-05

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A New Virtual Reality: Video Game Addiction in the Age of ESports

Description

While not officially recognized as an addictive activity by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, video game addiction has well-documented resources pointing to its effects on physiological and mental health for both addict and those close to the

While not officially recognized as an addictive activity by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, video game addiction has well-documented resources pointing to its effects on physiological and mental health for both addict and those close to the addict. With the rise of eSports, treating video game addiction has become trickier as a passionate and growing fan base begins to act as a culture not unlike traditional sporting. These concerns call for a better understanding of what constitutes a harmful addiction to video games as its heavy practice becomes more financially viable and accepted into mainstream culture.

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2015-05

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Overexpression of MicroRNA-495 and its Effects on Cocaine Addiction

Description

Drug addiction is a pervasive problem in society, as it produces major increases in health care costs, crime, and loss of productivity. With over 3 million long-term users in America alone, cocaine is one of the most identifiable and addictive

Drug addiction is a pervasive problem in society, as it produces major increases in health care costs, crime, and loss of productivity. With over 3 million long-term users in America alone, cocaine is one of the most identifiable and addictive drugs. Cocaine produces major neurological changes in the central nervous system, including widespread changes in gene expression. MicroRNAs are small, non-coding transcripts that regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally by preventing translation into function protein. Given that one miRNA can target several genes simultaneously, they have the potential to attenuate drug-induced changes in gene expression. We previously found that the microRNA miR-495 regulates several addiction-related genes (ARGs) and is highly expressed in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), an important brain region involved in reward and motivation. Furthermore, acute cocaine decreases miR-495 expression and increases ARG expression in the NAc. Therefore, the aim of this thesis was to determine the effect of miR-495 overexpression in the NAc on cocaine self-administration behavior. Male Sprague Dawley rats were trained to lever press for cocaine and were then infused with a lentivirus into the NAc that either overexpressed green fluorescent protein (GFP, control) or miR-495+GFP. We then tested the rats on several doses of cocaine on both a fixed ratio (5) and progressive ratio (PR) schedule of reinforcement. We performed a follow-up experiment that included the same viral manipulation and testing, but the reinforcer was switched to food pellets. We found that NAc miR-495 overexpression reduces cocaine self-administration on a PR, but not an FR5, schedule of reinforcement. We found no effects of miR-495 overexpression on food reinforcement. These data suggest that NAc miR-495 regulates genes involved in motivation for cocaine, but not general motivation based on the data with food reinforcement. Future studies will seek to determine the specific target genes responsible for our behavioral effects.

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2016-05

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Functional Switch in the Role of 5-HT1B Receptors as a Result of Cocaine Withdrawal in Mice

Description

Substance abuse disorders affect 15.3 million people worldwide. The field has primarily focused on dopaminergic drugs as treatments for substance use disorders. However, recent work has demonstrated the potential of serotonergic compounds to treat substance abuse. Specifically, the serotonin 1B

Substance abuse disorders affect 15.3 million people worldwide. The field has primarily focused on dopaminergic drugs as treatments for substance use disorders. However, recent work has demonstrated the potential of serotonergic compounds to treat substance abuse. Specifically, the serotonin 1B receptor (5-HT1BR), a Gi-coupled receptor located throughout the mesocorticolimbic dopamine system, has been implicated in the incentive motivational and rewarding effects of cocaine. Our research suggests that the stimulation of 5-HT1BRs produces different effects at various time points in the addiction cycle. During maintenance of chronic cocaine administration, 5-HT1BR stimulation has a facilitative effect on the reinforcing properties of cocaine. However 5-HT1BR stimulation exhibits inhibitory effects on reinforcement during prolonged abstinence from cocaine. The aim of this study was to examine the possibility of a switch in the functional role of 5-HT1BRs in the locomotor effects of cocaine at different time points of chronic cocaine administration in mice. We found that the 5-HT1BR agonist CP 94,253 increased locomotor activity in mice tested one day after the last chronic cocaine administration session regardless of whether the chronic treatment was cocaine or saline and regardless of challenge injection (i.e., cocaine or saline). Yet after abstinence, CP 94,253 induced a decrease in locomotor activity in mice challenged with saline and attenuated cocaine-induced locomotion relative to cocaine challenge after vehicle pretreatment. These findings suggest that a switch in the functional role of 5-HT1BR is observed at different stages of the addiction cycle and further suggest that clinical applications of drugs acting on 5-HT1BR should consider these effects.

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2014-05