Matching Items (7)

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An Analysis of Youth Prescription Drug Use in Arizona: A Collaboration Between the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission and the Community Action Research Experiences Program

Description

The purpose of this study was to evaluate existing data from the Arizona Youth Survey (AYS) to give policymakers and representatives from the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission some insight into

The purpose of this study was to evaluate existing data from the Arizona Youth Survey (AYS) to give policymakers and representatives from the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission some insight into the high rates of youth prescription drug abuse. This study examined trends in prescription drug consumption among Pima County, Arizona adolescents, as well as the contexts in which these drugs were used and the numerous consequences resulting from such actions. The results of this research will allow professionals at the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission to inform state officials on the most cost-effective methods of prescription drug abuse prevention and intervention.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013-05

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Elucidating the effects of estrous cycle on social stress-induced amphetamine sensitization in female rats

Description

Consequences of drug abuse and addiction affect both men and women, but women tend to rapidly progress through drug addiction phases, have higher drug dependency, and have higher relapse rates.

Consequences of drug abuse and addiction affect both men and women, but women tend to rapidly progress through drug addiction phases, have higher drug dependency, and have higher relapse rates. Ovarian hormones fluctuate with female reproductive cycles and are thought to cause increased sensitivity to psychostimulants. Additionally, intermittent social defeat stress induces social avoidance, weight loss, and long-lasting cross-sensitization to psychostimulants, which is associated with increased FosB/ΔFosB expression in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell. In this study, we examined the estrous cycle in female rats on social defeat stress-induced amphetamine cross-sensitization through FosB/ΔFosB expression in the NAc shell. Every third day for ten days, we induced social defeat stress in rats through short confrontations with a lactating female resident rat and her pups. In parallel, a group of rats were handled for control. Vaginal swabs were taken daily to assess estrous stage. Ten days after the last stress exposure, rats were administered a low dose of amphetamine (0.5 mg/kg, i.p.), which induced cross-sensitization in stressed rats, evidenced by enhanced locomotor activity. Approximately 3-10 days after amphetamine challenge, brain tissue was collected for immunohistochemistry analyses. Stressed female rats had lower body weight gain, higher social avoidance, and increased FosB/ΔFosB expression in the NAc shell. Differences in FosB/ΔFosB expression in the NAc shell was also observed in handled animals in different estrous stages. Furthermore, rats in proestrous/estrous stages displayed enhanced social defeat stress-induced amphetamine cross-sensitization in comparison to rats in metestrous/diestrous stages. Elucidating the effects of the female reproductive cycle on drug use may provide a novel approach to treatments or therapies in preventing women’s stress-induced vulnerability to substance abuse.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019-05

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Making better students: ADHD in higher education and the biopolitics of stimulant medication

Description

According to my 2016 survey of ASU undergraduate students, 33% have used stimulant medications (e.g. Adderall or Ritalin) without a prescription to study. I view this practice as a ste

According to my 2016 survey of ASU undergraduate students, 33% have used stimulant medications (e.g. Adderall or Ritalin) without a prescription to study. I view this practice as a step towards cognitive enhancement, which is the deliberate application of biotechnology to radically alter the human condition. From a foresight perspective, the ability to actively improve human beings, to take our evolutionary destiny into our own hands, may be a turning point on par with agriculture or the use of fossil fuels. The existential risks, however, may be greater than the benefits—and many of the most radical technologies have made little documented progress.

I turn to an actual example where people are trying to make themselves marginally better at academic tasks, as a guide to how future transformative development in human enhancement may be incorporated into everyday practice. This project examines the history and context that led to the widespread use of stimulant medication on college campuses. I describe how Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), for which stimulant medication is prescribed and diverted, governs students, negotiates relationships between parents and school authorities, and manages anxieties resulting from a competitive neoliberal educational system. I extend this archeology of ADHD through the actions and ethical beliefs of college students, and the bioethical arguments for and against human enhancement. Through this work, I open a new space for an expanded role for universities as institutions capable of creating experimental communities supporting ethical cognitive enhancement.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Methamphetamine and novel "legal high" methamphetamine mimetics: abuse liability, toxicity, and potential pharmacobehavioral treatments

Description

Globally, addiction to stimulants such as methamphetamine (METH) remains a significant public health problem. Despite decades of research, no approved anti-relapse medications for METH or any illicit stimulant exist, and

Globally, addiction to stimulants such as methamphetamine (METH) remains a significant public health problem. Despite decades of research, no approved anti-relapse medications for METH or any illicit stimulant exist, and current treatment approaches suffer from high relapse rates. Recently, synthetic cathinones have also emerged as popular abused stimulants, leading to numerous incidences of toxicity and death. However, contrary to traditional illicit stimulants, very little is known about their addiction potential. Given the high relapse rates and lack of approved medications for METH addiction, chapters 2 and 3 of this dissertation assessed three different glutamate receptor ligands as potential anti-relapse medications following METH intravenous self-administration (IVSA) in rats. In chapters 4 through 7, using both IVSA and intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS) procedures, experiments assessed abuse liability of the popular synthetic cathinones 3,4-Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) , methylone, α-pyrrolidinovalerophenone (α-PVP) and 4-methylethylcathinone (4-MEC). Results from these seminal studies suggest that these drugs possess similar abuse potential to traditional illicit stimulants such as METH, cocaine, and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). Finally, studies outlined in chapter 8 assessed the potential neurotoxic or adverse cognitive effects of METH and MDPV following IVSA procedures for the purpose of identifying potential novel pharmacotherapeutic targets. However, results of these final studies did not reveal neurotoxic or adverse cognitive effects when using similar IVSA procedural parameters that were sufficient for establishing addiction potential, suggesting that these parameters do not allow for sufficient drug intake to produce similar neurotoxicity or cognitive deficits reported in humans. Thus, these models may be inadequate for fully modeling the adverse neural and psychological consequences of stimulant addiction. Together, these studies support the notion for continued research into the abuse liability and toxicity of METH and synthetic cathinones and suggest that refinements to traditional IVSA models are needed for both more effective assessment of potential cognitive and neural deficits induced by these drugs and screening of potentially clinically efficacious pharmacotherapeutics.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Disentangling the directions of influence among trauma exposure, posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms, and alcohol and drug problems

Description

The present study utilized longitudinal data from a high-risk community sample (n= 377; 166 trauma-exposed; 54% males; 52% children of alcoholics; 73% non-Hispanic/Latino Caucasian; 22% Hispanic/Latino; 5% other ethnicity) to

The present study utilized longitudinal data from a high-risk community sample (n= 377; 166 trauma-exposed; 54% males; 52% children of alcoholics; 73% non-Hispanic/Latino Caucasian; 22% Hispanic/Latino; 5% other ethnicity) to test a series of hypotheses that may help explain the risk pathways that link traumatic stress, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptomatology, and problematic alcohol and drug use. Specifically, this study examined whether pre-trauma substance use problems increase risk for trauma exposure (the high-risk hypothesis) or PTSD symptoms (the susceptibility hypothesis), whether PTSD symptoms increase risk for later alcohol/drug problems (the self-medication hypothesis), and whether the association between PTSD symptoms and alcohol/drug problems is due to shared risk factors (the shared vulnerability hypothesis). This study also examined the roles of gender and ethnicity in these pathways. A series of logistic and negative binomial regressions were performed in a path analysis framework. A composite pre-trauma family adversity variable was formed from measures of family conflict, family life stress, parental alcoholism, and other parent psychopathology. Results provided the strongest support for the self-medication hypothesis, such that PTSD symptoms predicted higher levels of later alcohol and drug problems among non-Hispanic/Latino Caucasian participants, over and above the influences of pre-trauma family adversity, pre-trauma substance use problems, trauma exposure, and demographic variables. Results partially supported the high-risk hypothesis, such that adolescent substance use problems had a marginally significant unique effect on risk for assaultive violence exposure but not on overall risk for trauma exposure. There was no support for the susceptibility hypothesis, as pre-trauma adolescent substance use problems did not significantly influence risk for PTSD diagnosis/symptoms over and above the influence of pre-trauma family adversity. Finally, there was little support for the shared vulnerability hypothesis. Neither trauma exposure nor preexisting family adversity accounted for the link between PTSD symptoms and later substance use problems. These results add to a growing body of literature in support of the self-medication hypothesis. Findings extend previous research by showing that PTSD symptoms may influence the development of alcohol and drug problems over and above the influence of trauma exposure itself, preexisting family risk factors, and baseline levels of substance use.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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The factor structure of the externalizing spectrum in adolescence and the role of GABRA2

Description

The present study tested the factor structure of the externalizing disorders (e.g. attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), conduct disorder (SE), and substance experimentation (SE) ) in adolescence. In addition, this study

The present study tested the factor structure of the externalizing disorders (e.g. attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), conduct disorder (SE), and substance experimentation (SE) ) in adolescence. In addition, this study tested the influence of the GABRA2 gene on the factors of the externalizing spectrum. Confirmatory factor analyses were used to test the factor structure of the externalizing spectrum. Specifically, three competing alternate confirmatory factor analytic models were tested: a one-factor model where all disorders loaded onto a single externalizing factor, a two-factor model where CD and SE loaded onto one factor and ADHD loaded onto another, and a three-factor model, where all three disorders loaded onto separate factors. Structural equation modeling was used to test the effect of a GABRA2 SNP, rs279858, on the factors of the externalizing spectrum. Analyses revealed that a three-factor model of externalizing disorders with correlated factors fit the data best. Additionally, GABRA2 had a significant effect on the SE factor in adolescence, but not on the CD or ADHD factors. These findings demonstrate that the externalizing disorders in adolescence share commonalities but also have separate sources of systematic variance. Furthermore, biological mechanisms may act as a unique etiological factor in the development of adolescent substance experimentation.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Mu-opioid receptor: pAKT signaling in the ventral tegmental area is critical for the behavioral and cellular consequences of social stress

Description

Intermittent social defeat stress produces vulnerability to drugs of abuse, a phenomena known as cross-sensitization, which is proceeded by a corresponding upregulation of ventral tegmental area (VTA) mu-opioid receptors (MORs).

Intermittent social defeat stress produces vulnerability to drugs of abuse, a phenomena known as cross-sensitization, which is proceeded by a corresponding upregulation of ventral tegmental area (VTA) mu-opioid receptors (MORs). Since VTA MORs are implicated in the expression of psychostimulant sensitization, they may also mediate social stress-induced vulnerability to drugs of abuse. Social stress and drugs of abuse increase mesolimbic brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) signaling with its receptor, tropomyosin-related kinase B (TrkB). These studies examined whether VTA MOR signaling is important for the behavioral and cellular consequences of social stress. First, the function of VTA MORs in the behavioral consequences of intermittent social defeat stress was investigated. Lentivirus-mediated knockdown of VTA MORs prevented social stress-induced cross-sensitization, as well as stress-induced social avoidance and weight gain deficits. Next it was examined whether VTA MOR expression is critical for stress-induced alterations in the mesocorticolimbic circuit. At the time cross-sensitization was known to occur, lentivirus-mediated knockdown of VTA MORs prevented stress-induced increases in VTA BDNF and its receptor, TrkB in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), and attenuated NAc expression of delta FosB. There was no effect of either stress or virus on BDNF expression in the prefrontal cortex. Since social stress-induced upregulation of VTA MORs is necessary for consequences of social stress, next activity dependent changes in AKT, a downstream target of MOR stimulation associated with sensitization to psychostimulant drugs, were investigated. Using fluorescent immunohistochemical double labeling for the active form of AKT (pAKT) and markers of either GABA or dopamine neurons in the VTA, it was determined that social stress significantly increased the expression of pAKT in GABA, but not dopamine neurons, and that this effect was dependent on VTA MOR expression. Moreover, intra-VTA inhibition of pAKT during stress prevented stress-induced weight gain deficits, while acute inhibition of VTA pAKT blocked the expression of cross-sensitization in subjects that had previously exhibited sensitized locomotor activity. Together these results suggest that social stress upregulates MORs on VTA GABA neurons, resulting in AKT phosphorylation, and that increased VTA MOR-pAKT signaling may represent a novel therapeutic target for the intervention of substance abuse disorders.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015