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There are growing concerns in Australia about the amount of alcohol consumed and the rates of addiction. According to World Health Organization WHO data, rising alcohol addiction has raised the risks of heart failure, hypertension, and death from physical damage. These growing worries have compelled research on the subject in order to identify potential mitigation methods. This study discusses some of the studies that have been proposed, including the exposure of lever press rats to water, Alcopop, and S20 solutions in order to identify or simulate human reactions to alcohol and sugar. The paper concludes by appreciating the consistent need to access sugary diets and alcohol in a routine pattern that result in addiction.
Key words: Alcohol consumption, Addiction rates, Mitigation measures,
Alcohol Addiction in Australia
The Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) is partly tasked with the responsibility of monitoring drug addiction within the country with a primary focus on alcohol addiction (Kuntsche et al. 2017). Established from the Australian Addiction Survey (AAS), NHMRC researchers primarily concentrate on 15-year-olds and above (Olsson et al. 2016). According to Kuntsche et al. (2017), a consecutive survey has recorded prevalence of alcohol addiction across the country with high numbers emerging from youth who have habituated the exercise.
Problem of alcohol consumption in Australia
Kuntsche et al. (2017) recognize the situation attributing the high rise of addition to the increasing trend of drinking during games, sports, and social ceremonies. Although alcohol in small manageable amounts may not results in any side effects like addiction, health care professionals believe that consistent intake often results in increased dependency (Salom & Alati 2017). Currently, an average Australian drinks over nine liters of pure alcohol annually (Machado et al. 2017). Salom & Alati (2017) asserts that the increased consumption of the products that are often served with food has considerably increased cases of heart failure, cancer as well as injuries that often lead to death.
While insisting on the need to address the rising cases of alcoholism within Australian, Machado et al. (2017) argues that research is imperative in linking adequate solution to persons who are willing to recover from addiction. The teenagers are mainly targeted considering the several challenges that affect the Millennial (Berends et al. 2016). Berends et al. (2016) recognize that it is often a subject of concern among healthcare practitioners mainly because of the high population ration of teenagers to the overall Australian people and the vulnerability of the youths at their stages of growth. Salom & Alati (2017) advocates for advancement in treatment procedures that can be best implemented through an understanding of teen mental and behavioral changes that increase their vulnerability to addictions.
Understanding mental and behavioral changes
Alcoholism causes several physical effects that have manifestation that is easily recognizable, but there are psychological effects that people rarely discuss (Scott et al. 2016). Kuntsche et al. (2017) highlight that mental and behavioral changes from effects of alcohol consumption vary from person to persons, but they are fundamentally based on reaction and are depended on the amount of use. With prolonged exposure to the drugs, Scott et al. (2016) argue in favor of the need to have significant control.
Machado et al. (2017) also affirms that cases of the nervousness, melancholy, and restlessness often characterized primary levels of alcoholism at its early stages. The emergence of depression, personality change, denial, and anxiety builds up to the desire to continue with the relief from the pressure that characterizes alcohol consumption (Foulds et al. 2016). According to Foulds et al. (2016), all these changes contribute to improving the various approaches to treat alcoholism. Salom & Alati (2017) acknowledges that one of the best research procedures in developing proper understanding and following effective treatment plans is the use of rat’s lever press methods to determine the effect of sugar as an addictive additive to alcohols and its relations to alcoholism.
Sugar as an addictive substance tends to increase the rates of animal access to higher percentages of sugar content relative to a control experiment that is sugar-free (Treur et al. 2016). Treur et al. (2016) argue that considerably, the two solutions, S20 and Alcopop, are not equally reinforcing but are relatively more appeling to the subject compared to water.
There is an increased speed of access to a solution with a higher percentage of sugar relative to less sugar content solutions.
The overall manifestation from the experiment would indicate that there is an increased desire for resolution access from rats depending on percentage sugar content.
High sugar content has a higher lever press among the rats under observation.
The overall aim of the investigation based on alcopop self-administration is to determine the rewarding effects of the various sugar content solutions and to measure the levels of acquisition among the rats.
Investigation results demonstrate an increase in response among rats on operating lever relative to the inactive lever, responses rated at F(1,15, 65.55) = 136.20 at p < 0.0005 as provided in the Research Report Guide 2017 (Knight et al. 2016). Knight et al. (2016) related these scenarios to the increase in response to the desire of access to sugar on an incremental approach. After sugar stimulation and excitement, approximately at 20% increase, there is a gustatory stimulation that introduced the transduction mechanisms that triggers neurons that in turn receives signals that may enhance desire from more sugar (Fredriksson et al. 2017). The increasing trend of desire manifests sugar addiction.
Similarly, there was a consistent increase in the effort of lever press to access active 20% sucrose (S20) relative to the water and Alcopop in the early stages of the experiment (Rezvani et al. 2016). Fredriksson et al. (2017) confirm that the consistent growth throughout the experimentation period sessions shows some levels of an increased desire for access to the Alcopop and S20 solutions. From the definition from Knight et al. (2016); it is clear that there is a behavioral change that is implemented with sugar concentration in drinks.
The rat reaction and consistent growth of a desire to access the solution, to some extents, explains the human behavior of increased desire to obtain sugar to the point of alcohol intake without S20 concentration of sugar in an incremental manner (Gosselink et al. 2016). Gosselink et al. (2016) compare the reaction of the rats in experiments, the S20 activation, and control experiment, to the normal human reaction to high sugars in alcohol. With an increased active press, it is apparent that the rats did learn to discriminate between the rewarding lever and the inactive lever.
Clearly, the solutions were not equally reinforcing with S20 having more reaction as a response from the rats. The curve of response, as represented on results graphs Figure 3, showed an incremental trait that can directly be linked to an increased need for consumption but the subjects (Peartree et al. 2017). Water had a decreasing response with consistent increase experience with both Alcopop and S20 solutions. Peartree et al. (2017) argue that to better monitor rat's response towards the desire of access to solutions, the quantity of consumption should be controlled. Machado et al. (2017) confirm that volume is essential in the definition of addiction.
Throughout the experimentation and the graphical representation of the statistics attained in the procedures, it is clear that a subject learns from repetitive engagement in accessing alcohol (Nieto & Kosten 2017). According to Knight et al. (2016), the study provides adequate guidelines that can be utilized in the manufacture of alcohol. It is apparent that during the first session of intake, there is the tendency for the subject to access sugary drinks but with time, alcohol consumption becomes a routine to appoint of addiction.
The experimental procedures above are controlled employing the active and inactive levers that are important in developing pattern and detection of activity (Montgomery 2017). Montgomery (2017) acknowledges the necessity of control in any experiment as a principle that facilitates learning of behavior. Use of a variety of animals would have a bigger variation in responses of lever-press, statistics that would have facilitated in analysis and subsequent formulation recommendations.
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