Friday November 22, 2019

Researchers found a new Drug to Reduce Alcohol Addiction in Teenagers

The drug is (+)-Naltrexone can reduce the drinking habit in teenagers.

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A new drug can reduce Alcohol addiction in teenagers
A new drug can reduce Alcohol addiction in teenagers. Pixabay
  • Researchers have found a new drug that may eventually help to reduce alcohol addiction in adults who used to binge during their adolescent years.

A new drug found which can reduce Alcohol addiction in teenagers

“During our teen years, the brain is still in a relatively immature state. Binge drinking worsens this situation, as alcohol undermines the normal developmental processes that affect how our brain matures,” said lead author Jon Jacobsen, a Ph.D. student at the University of Adelaide, Australia.

“Therefore, when an adolescent who has been binge drinking becomes an adult, they’re often left with an immature brain, which assists in the development of alcohol dependence,” Jacobsen added.

For the study, published in the Journal Neuropharmacology, researchers observed that adolescent mice involved in binge drinking behavior developed an increased sensitivity to alcohol as adults and engaged in further binge drinking.

The researchers were able to prevent some of these detrimental behaviors observed in adulthood, by giving mice a drug that blocks a specific response from the immune system in the brain.

The drug is (+)-Naltrexone, known to block the immune receptor Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4).

“This drug effectively switched off the impulse in mice to binge drink. The mice were given this drug still sought out alcohol, but their level of drinking was greatly reduced,” says senior author Professor Mark Hutchinson, Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics at the University of Adelaide.

“We’re excited by the finding that we can potentially block binge drinking in an adult after they have experienced such behavior during adolescence, by stopping the activation of the brain’s immune system. It’s the first time this has been shown and gives us hope that our work has implications for the eventual treatment of alcohol addiction in adults,” Hutchinson noted.(IANS)

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Teenagers Who View Beer Ads Likely To Start Drinking: Study

Study says that beer advertisements influences underage drinking

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Beer advertisements
Beer advertisements are made in such a way that they influence underage drinking. Pixabay

Advertising budgets and strategies used by beer companies appear to influence underage drinking, suggests a new study.

The findings, published in the journal Addictive Behaviours Reports, showed that the amount of money spent on advertising strongly predicted the percentage of teenagers who had heard of, preferred and tried different beer brands.

For the study, the researchers involved over 1500 middle and high school students.

The study revealed that 99% participants had heard of Budweiser and Bud Light — the top spender on advertising, while 44 per cent said they had used the brand.

“We can’t say from this one study that advertisers are specifically targeting youth, but they are hitting them, if you look at beer ads, advertisers are using all the tricks we know work at grabbing children’s attention,” said study researcher Douglas Gentile from Iowa State University in the US.

Around 55% participants had at least one alcoholic drink in the past year, 31 per cent had one or more drinks at least once a month and 43 per cent engaged in heavy drinking.

When asked to name their two favourite TV commercials, alcohol-related ads had the highest recall (32 per cent) followed by soft drinks (31 per cent), fashion (19 per cent), automotive (14 per cent) and sports nine per cent.

Drinking beer
Most of the teenagers said in the survey that beer advertisements tempt them to try alcohol. Pixabay

A quarter of those surveyed said they owned alcohol-related products.

The study also found that teenagers are heavy consumers of media and therefore exposed to more advertising.

“Viewers or readers aren’t thinking about the message through a critical lens,” instead, audiences become immersed in a compelling story and identify with the characters, a process which leads them to unintentionally be persuaded by the messages of the story,” said study researcher Kristi Costabile.

During the study, researchers also asked teenagers about their intentions to drink as an adult.

Also Read- India’s Health System Underperforming: Niti Aayog

Advertising and parent and peer approval of drinking were all significant predictors of intention to drink.

“By understanding what influences behaviour we can design more effective prevention and intervention programmes to reduce underage drinking, which in turn could lessen the likelihood that alcohol use becomes a problem,” Brooke Arterberry said. (IANS)