Matching Items (17)

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Kicking the Habit: Reforming Mandatory Minimums for Drug Crimes

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Abstract Kicking the Habit: Reforming Mandatory Minimums for Drug Crimes Ashley Allen While mandatory minimum sentences apply to all drugs, in this paper, I primarily discuss them for marijuana, cocaine,

Abstract Kicking the Habit: Reforming Mandatory Minimums for Drug Crimes Ashley Allen While mandatory minimum sentences apply to all drugs, in this paper, I primarily discuss them for marijuana, cocaine, and opiates since these drugs are the most commonly used. My paper will include an exploration of the reasons behind the implementation of mandatory minimum sentences, an analysis of the problems involved with enforcing them, and a discussion about the harms such enforcement has on communities. While mandatory minimums were introduced to prevent discrimination in sentencing as people of color often faced much harsher sentences, the minimums have not been a lasting solution; rather these sentencing techniques have become a major component of the problems communities face associated with drug use. They enforce negative stereotypes and cycles of drug use, do not promote rehabilitation, and unnecessarily burden the judicial and prison systems. I will discuss both successful and failed attempts to reform these laws, and finally offer possible solutions for rethinking mandatory minimum laws, including harm reduction, sentencing restructuring, and the reform of federal laws.

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  • 2012-05

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Impact of Syringe Access on Injection Drug Users in Maricopa County

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Injection drug use can result in a variety of negative health complications, many of which are caused or exacerbated through reuse and/or sharing of used injection equipment such as syringes,

Injection drug use can result in a variety of negative health complications, many of which are caused or exacerbated through reuse and/or sharing of used injection equipment such as syringes, cookers, cottons, etc. The purpose of this thesis is to review the impact of the lack of resources such as needle exchange programs (NEPs) and general access to syringes on intravenous drug users in Maricopa County. This review is placed within the larger context to contrast with increased access to sterile syringes in major cities of the United States where there have been policies implemented aiming at harm reduction models of community outreach such as NEPs. To supplement this policy analysis, I conducted seven interviews and analyzed interview data to provide personal insights from the perspectives of users. I also surveyed nine current injection drug users, asking them questions about their use of syringes. Increasing awareness of the perspectives of injection drug users and the harms associated with intravenous drug use, especially when drug users are unable to access sterile, new syringes will help to facilitate increased access to harm reduction resources and reduce stigma.

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  • 2017-05

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A History and Analysis of Drug Labeling Policy for Pregnant and Lactating Women and Women's Involvement in Clinical Drug Research from 1970 to 2014

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The inherent risk in testing drugs has been hotly debated since the government first started regulating the drug industry in the early 1900s. Who can assume the risks associated with

The inherent risk in testing drugs has been hotly debated since the government first started regulating the drug industry in the early 1900s. Who can assume the risks associated with trying new pharmaceuticals is unclear when looked at through society's lens. In the mid twentieth century, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published several guidance documents encouraging researchers to exclude women from early clinical drug research. The motivation to publish those documents and the subsequent guidance documents in which the FDA and other regulatory offices established their standpoints on women in drug research may have been connected to current events at the time. The problem of whether women should be involved in drug research is a question of who can assume risk and who is responsible for disseminating what specific kinds of information. The problem tends to be framed as one that juxtaposes the health of women and fetuses and sets their health as in opposition. That opposition, coupled with the inherent uncertainty in testing drugs, provides for a complex set of issues surrounding consent and access to information.

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  • 2018-05

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The Pharmaceutical Industry and the Opioid Epidemic: The Case of Purdue Pharma and OxyContin

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This thesis elucidates the responsibility of the pharmaceutical industry for the current opioid epidemic, an epidemic which caused over 40,000 American deaths in 2016 alone. Twenty years prior, Purdue Pharma

This thesis elucidates the responsibility of the pharmaceutical industry for the current opioid epidemic, an epidemic which caused over 40,000 American deaths in 2016 alone. Twenty years prior, Purdue Pharma unleashed an extended-release formulation of the opioid oxycodone: OxyContin. With this, Purdue began a highly aggressive advertising campaign with the primary intention of guaranteeing the success of this drug; however, in doing so, they often neglected to ensure that the information they were propagating was wholly accurate. Previous reform attempts aimed at mollifying this crisis have ultimately fallen short, as they have failed to recognize the true extent of Purdue Pharma's involvement, especially with regard to the underlying issues that led to the initiation and progression of the epidemic. Future improvements should be targeted at the reform of regulatory agencies and insurance companies, as well as the cultural attitudes regarding pain and pain treatment that have been cultivated over the last several years. Ultimately, however, these reforms will likely prove to be insufficient unless the failings of the current healthcare system, including the pharmaceutical industry, are also taken into account.

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  • 2018-05

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Fiction's Role in Science and Society: An Analysis and Implementation

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Journalism, by its very nature, is limited, often adhering to a repetitive format and narration style. Consequently, the depth of journalistic stories will always hit a barrier. Fiction, on the

Journalism, by its very nature, is limited, often adhering to a repetitive format and narration style. Consequently, the depth of journalistic stories will always hit a barrier. Fiction, on the other hand, provides an elegant solution by exploring the world through a myriad point of views including complete omniscience. This thesis explores the link between journalism and fiction by taking real-world scenarios and exploring them without journalism's limitations. It includes three novellas totaling 25,000 words drawn from true-to-life research papers, news stories and manifestos to paint a realistic picture of a technological reality in the near future, a style of writing one might call futurecasting. The thesis also contains an analysis of the techniques used in contemporary fiction and an analysis of their implementation within the novellas. The goal of the novellas is to let researchers to explore the impact of their work before its mass dissemination in order to shape societal, national and international policy responsibly. Similarly, novellas like this and others similar allow society to discover the beauty of science through fiction. These are some of fiction's greatest roles in science and society.

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  • 2013-05

The Effect of Ovarian Hormonal Status on 5HT1B Receptor Modulation of Cocaine Self-Administration

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Cocaine is a powerful psychomotor stimulant that can affect serotonin (5HT), dopamine, and norepinephrine systems in the brain. Previous studies with 5HT1B receptor agonist, CP94253, have shown dose-dependent decreases in

Cocaine is a powerful psychomotor stimulant that can affect serotonin (5HT), dopamine, and norepinephrine systems in the brain. Previous studies with 5HT1B receptor agonist, CP94253, have shown dose-dependent decreases in cocaine-self administration in male rats during maintenance. However, these studies do not take into consideration sex differences between male rats and female rats. Female rats introduce a new complexity because they constantly undergo an estrous cycle that consists of four phases, metestrus, diestrus, proestrus, and estrus. It was hypothesized that cocaine infusions and active lever response rates would greatly decrease during proestrus and estrus in comparison to metestrus and diestrus due to hormonal level differences of LH, FSH, progesterone, and estradiol. In this study, female rats were trained to self-administer a training dose of 0.75 mg/kg/infusion on a fixed progressive ratio (FR5). Rats were then pretreated with CP94253 to test the effects of this 5HT1B agonist on female rat cocaine self-administration during the estrous cycle. Results showed there was no three-way interaction between cycle phase, pretreatment, and cocaine dose on infusions or active lever responses. However, pretreatment with CP94253 decreased cocaine intake and active lever responses at high cocaine doses, regardless of cycle phase. Lastly, there was a two-way interaction between pretreatment and cycle phase in which active lever responses decreased during diestrus and proestrus. These results imply that CP94253 enhances cocaine's effect regardless of cycle phase. Future work can work with ovariectomized (OVX) female rats to observe cocaine self-administration during controlled cycle phases.

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  • 2018-05

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

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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

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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Evading resistance: measuring melanoma's adaptation rate in different drug environments to identify the best course of treatment

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While specific resistance mechanisms to targeted inhibitors in BRAF-mutant cutaneous melanoma have been identified, surprisingly little is known about the rate at which resistance develops under different treatment options. There

While specific resistance mechanisms to targeted inhibitors in BRAF-mutant cutaneous melanoma have been identified, surprisingly little is known about the rate at which resistance develops under different treatment options. There is increasing evidence that resistance arises from pre-existing clones rather than from de novo mutations, but there remains the need for a better understanding of how different drugs affect the fitness of clones within a tumor population and promote or delay the emergence of resistance. To this end, we have developed an assay that defines the in vitro rate of adaptation by analyzing the progressive change in sensitivity of a melanoma cell line to different treatments. We performed a proof-of-theory experiment based on the hypothesis that drugs that cause cell death (cytotoxic) impose a higher selection pressure for drug-resistant clones than drugs that cause cell-cycle arrest (cytostatic drugs), thereby resulting in a faster rate of adaptation. We tested this hypothesis by continuously treating the BRAFV600E melanoma cell line A375 with the cytotoxic MEK inhibitor E6201 and the cytostatic MEK inhibitor trametinib, both of which are known to be effective in the setting of constitutive oncogenic signaling driven by the BRAF mutation. While the identification of confounding factors prevented the direct comparison between E6201-treated and trametinib-treated cells, we observed that E6201-treated cells demonstrate decreased drug sensitivity compared to vehicle-treated cells as early as 18 days after treatment begins. We were able to quantify this rate of divergence at 2.6% per passage by measuring the increase over time in average viability difference between drug-treated and vehicle-treated cells within a DDR analysis. We argue that this value correlates to the rate of adaptation. Furthermore, this study includes efforts to establish a barcoded cell line to allow for individual clonal tracking and efforts to identify synergistic and antagonist drug combinations for use in future experiments. Ultimately, we describe here a novel system capable of quantifying adaptation rate in cancer cells undergoing treatment, and we anticipate that this assay will prove helpful in identifying treatment options that circumvent or delay resistance through future hypothesis-driven experiments.

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  • 2016-12

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The Sniff is not up to Snuff: A Look at Drug Detection Dogs Under the Fourth Amendment

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An important question that needs to be discussed is whether drug detection dogs can be used the same way as machines in assisting drug detection and how these drug detection

An important question that needs to be discussed is whether drug detection dogs can be used the same way as machines in assisting drug detection and how these drug detection dogs should be used under the Fourth Amendment. In answering these questions, the history, training, certifications, and case law relating to drug detection dogs should be reviewed. The dogs are powerful tools in the detection of narcotics, but it is critical to remember that they are only animals and far from flawless. They can make mistakes because of lapses in training, due to irregular training and certification standards, or cues, intentional or not, from their handlers. Under current precedent, walking around something, like a car, is not a search and does not require reasonable suspicion. A dog alert during this non-intrusive, superficial contact can give rise to probable cause to search. If the dog alert is not reliable, it can lead to many unnecessary searches that violate people's privacy. In order to protect Fourth Amendment rights from the, drug detection dogs need to be used carefully and with limitations. A dog's ability to smell is impressive and humans' ability to train them is vast, but a dog is just a dog. The limited accuracy of a dog sniff is not an issue when they are used to search for people in landslides or avalanches, because even 10% accuracy is helpful when trying to save someone's life. However, when a drug detection dog is used to establish probable cause for a search, accuracy becomes an issue. United States v. Place was based on faulty scientific evidence on the accuracy of dogs, and it set the standard for future drug detection dog cases. The courts need to revisit this issue in light of more recent information. Except in certain locations where Fourth Amendment rights are limited, drug detection dogs should only be used when reasonable suspicion of criminal conduct exists. This limitation, as well as enhanced training and certification standards, strikes the appropriate balance between living in a civilized society and living in a secure society.

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  • 2014-05

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Glioblastoma in the Crosshairs: Development of a Dual Reporter Assay for Discovery of Olig2 Inhibiting Drugs

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A coincidence reporter construct, consisting of the p21-promoter and two luciferase genes (Firefly and Renilla), was constructed for the screening of drugs that might inhibit Olig2's tumorigenic role in glioblastoma.

A coincidence reporter construct, consisting of the p21-promoter and two luciferase genes (Firefly and Renilla), was constructed for the screening of drugs that might inhibit Olig2's tumorigenic role in glioblastoma. The reporter construct was tested using an Olig2 inhibitor, HSP990, as well as short hairpin RNA targeting Olig2. Further confirmatory analysis is needed before the reporter cell line is ready for high-throughput screening at the NIH and lead compound selection.

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Date Created
  • 2014-05