【Unlocking Word Meanings】
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.
1. sobriety / səˈbraɪəti / (n.) – the state or condition of being sober or not drunk
Example: The requirements include a sobriety test.
2. infuse / ˌɪnˈfjuːz / (v.) – to fill or introduce something
Example: They infused the girl with morphine before the operation.
3. impair / ɪmˈpeə / (v.) – to cause something or someone to worsen or weaken
Example: Drinking alcohol can impair your judgment.
4. intoxication /ɪnˌtɒk sɪˈkeɪ ʃən / (n.) – the state of being influenced by alcohol or drugs
Example: She was treated for alcohol intoxication.
5. reversible /rɪˈvɜr sə bəl/ (adj.) – can return to its original condition
Example: Your illness is not reversible.
Read the text below.
A “love hormone” called oxytocin may reduce the intoxicating effects of alcohol, a recent study revealed. This hormone plays an important role in some reproductive functions.
Researchers from the University of Sydney and the University of Regensburg [REY-guh ns-boo rk] discovered this after conducting an experiment on two groups of rats. The first group of rats was infused with oxytocin into their brains, while the other group was not given anything. Both groups were then given alcohol and monitored.
The researchers noted that in a sobriety test, the first group passed the test, while the other group was seriously impaired. Based on these results, the researchers found that oxytocin prevents alcohol from getting into the brain parts involved in the body’s motor control.
However, oxytocin does not affect the duration during which alcohol stays in one’s system. As a result, one’s blood alcohol level does not change even with the use of oxytocin. Nonetheless, the researchers plan to conduct the experiment on humans to know whether or not they would find the same results.
Alcohol intoxication is a reversible condition caused by drinking too much alcohol. The physiological effects of alcohol on the central nervous system include mood swings, violence, forgetfulness, difficulty in focusing, and poor judgement.
Aside from the hormone oxytocin, other substances can be used to prevent alcohol intoxication. Researchers from Yale University found that taking iomazenil [ay-OH-ma-ze-nel] before drinking alcohol helps a person stay sober, while other studies propose that ampelopsin prevents the negative effects of alcohol.
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.
· Do you agree that the same experiment should be done on people? Why or why not?
· Do you think this experiment will encourage people to consume more alcohol? Why?
· How else can alcohol intoxication be prevented?
· What do you think are the long-term effects of alcohol intoxication on one’s health?