Effects of Ethanol on Performance – Addiction Example

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"Effects of Ethanol on Performance" is a good example of a paper on the addiction. In European culture, the consumption of alcohol (Ethanol) has been socially accepted and is classified as a central nervous system depressant. Its mode of action is by reducing the brain inhibitory processes, and it results in depression of the body systems at higher doses. Other systems associated with ethanol drug utilization include disturbed motor processes and disorganized mental processes. According to Zakhari (2006),   increased  alcohol levels in the body system are associated with a decreased psychomotor performance. Alcohol consumption is referred to as a “ pharmacological hand-grenade” as a result of its widespread effects on the organ system.

It alters the membrane proteins function thus exerting its effects. The central nervous system is the body system most affected by alcohol consumption. The degree at which the body is affected is directly proportional to the blood alcohol concentration. After ingestion, it passes through the stomach to the intestines where it is absorbed rapidly and distributed to the bloodstream. However, due to its rapid distribution, it can affect the CNS even under small amounts. As the concentration rises, an individual response decreases markedly causing unsteady gait, coordination, and slurred speech.

With very high ethanol concentration, the individual can become comatose causing death (Messing 2014, 724).   Quite, on the contrary, every human body is in a process of continuously producing alcohol referred to as endogenous ethanol production. Human living cells cannot exist without the presence of alcohol but overconsumption of alcohol produces harmful effects in the body (Guerri & Pascual 2010, 17). The experiment conducted has the aim of investigating the effects of ethanol on individual performance as well as determining the relationship between breath alcohol concentrations and performance deficits.

Ethanol drug will be taken orally by mouth in  the form of vodka mixed with orange juice, and a control group will be involved who will be given only orange juice without any ethanol in it.   Aims of the study  To acquaint students with;     The ability of non-prescription drugs to produce CNS effects.     The ability of drugs to permeate the body    The limitations of designing controlled clinical trials    Objectives of the study  To investigate the effects of ethanol on some aspects of human performance,     To correlate effects, including motor coordination, with drug levels in the body    Methodology  For  the study, the whole class was involved in  participation in one way or the other.

Half of the class  were involved in alcohol consumption while the other half  acted as  the control group. Participants were requested to only take a light meal and  to  avoid alcohol consumption before the practical. Participants were healthy, had not consumed any alcohol  substance  for 24 hours before the experiment, and were not under any medication. Those who were not willing to take part in the study and never met the study’ s criteria acted as observers.   Ethanol administration  Ethanol was prepared in a 15%  concentration in orange juice ready for consumption.

The ethanol was obtained from commercially available vodka and dosage of 400mg/kg administered in 70 kg subjects with a total of 28g of ethanol.   The dosage provided  a good concentration of alcohol  in the body system  and  was equivalent to two pints of beer  thus appropriate for the experiment.   Due to a large number of students in the class, participants to take part in the study were randomly selected on a double-blind basis where  neither the participants nor  the  observers knew the identity of the beverages.

However, the  supervisors coded the drinks and owned the codes.   Inclusion criteria  All the participants who volunteered and consented to take part in the study and met the study’ s criteria  Exclusion criteria  Members who never volunteered to take part in the study and those who had medical  conditions  that contraindicated the consumption of alcohol.   Also,   members who were taking medications that contraindicated alcohol consumption.   Ethical considerations  Before the study  was, conducted  permission was sought from the University Ethics Committee who approved the practical like a brand 1 practical. Informed consent was sought from the participants before taking part in the study where they signed the consent form.   Participants were treated with respect and dignity and confidentiality was guaranteed.

The results of the study were communicated to the study participants after completion  of  the study.   Tests  performed  Supervisors were educated on how to make the tests before the experiment to enhance efficiency. The  following tests were conducted;   Psychological  Test  One proper measurement of the psychological performance was conducted before drug administration on both groups. Afterward, the psychological testing was to be repeated at a 20 minutes interval for an overall of 80 minutes. Three psychological tests were done A (drowsy-alert), B (relaxed-tense), and C (clumsy- well-coordinated) were score were given along each scale corresponding how the participants felt in regards to the distance measured from the left-hand side.

Every scale was assessed independently.   Digit  Symbol Substitution Test  The test involved substituting symbols for digits in regards to the codes given in the box at the top of the page. The test lasted for 90 seconds during which participants were involved in converting as many digits as they would  work  from left to line along the lines. The scores were awarded according to the correct substitutions that were made in the 90 seconds and entered in the table as illustrated in the results.     Visual-motor coordination  It entailed two tests i. e.

Reaction times Test and Pursuit Test  Reaction time Test  It involved a computer program that runs on some of the lab computers. The task required the subjects to respond to green dots that appeared randomly on the grid and clicking on them. Another green dot appeared in another part of the grid. After 30  seconds,   the computer displayed the number of green dots that the subject had correctly responded to. To enhance efficiency in the test, supervisors, and participants practiced before taking the first score.   Pursuit Test  The test involved two monitoring pursuits machines.

A new automated machine that switched on and off after 20 seconds  automatically displayed  the participant's scores at the end. However, for the older machine, it  required  speed to be set  to 40 RPM. The participants tried holding the pointer in contact with the center of the target for 20 seconds that were timed carefully by the observer using a similar clock for all the estimations. To ensure the accuracy of the test, participants used the same machine for each pursuit test.     Breath samples  Breath alcohol samples were measured before each group of psychological tests using the Lion Alcolmeter S-D2 together with the age, weight, and usual alcohol consumption.       Discussion  Test performed  Mean reaction score (non-Alcoholics)  Mean reaction score (Alcoholics)  Initial test  38  37.5  20 mins  39.5  33.5  40 mins  36  37.5  60 mins  40  40  80 mins  40  40        The test statistic for the paired sample t-test is given by t = Σ differences / √ ((NΣ differences2 - (Σ differences)2) / (N-1)).       Table 1:  Results for  t-Test: Paired Two Sample for Means             Variable 1  Variable 2  Mean  37.7  38.7  Variance  7.075  2.95  Observations  5  5  Pearson Correlation  0.180584    Hypothesized Mean Difference  0    df  4    t Stat  0.77267    P(T< =t) one-tail  0.241419    t Critical one-tail  2.131847    P(T< =t) two-tail  0.482838    t Critical two-tail  2.776445     Since  0.773 is  smaller than  2.776 it  can be concluded that the null hypothesis, H0, (No difference in performance after ethanol drug administration) can be rejected.

Thus,   highlighting that a statistically significant difference in performance result after ethanol drug administration up to a certain point when participants took part in the activity. After ethanol administration, the mean reaction score changed but after reaching the peak, there was no further change. However, there was a slight change in the mean reaction score for the controls but the other group that took ethanol was more significant. From the  results,   a relationship existed between the mean reaction score and alcohol concentration.       Conclusion  Ethanol acts  by reducing the brain inhibitory processes  resulting  in depression of the body systems at higher doses.

Other systems associated with ethanol drug utilization include disturbed motor processes and disorganized mental processes.   Moreover,   an increased alcohol level in the body system is  associated with a decreased psychomotor performance.   From the study conducted, it is clear that a  significant difference in performance results  after ethanol drug administration.  

References

Guerri, C. & Pascual, M., 2010. Mechanisms involved in the neurotoxic, cognitive, and neurobehavioral effects of alcohol consumption during adolescence. Alcohol, 44, pp.15–26.

Messing, R.O., 2014. Alcohol and the Nervous System. In Aminoff’s Neurology and General Medicine: Fifth Edition. pp. 713–724.

Zakhari, S., 2006. Overview: how is alcohol metabolized by the body? Alcohol research & health : the journal of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 29, pp.245–254.

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