Research Article.

Research Article	Research Article

This week you will analyze a peer-reviewed research article examining the application of animal research for understanding human addictions.Research Article.

Read the following article:

Schramm-Sapyta, N. L., Walker, Q. D., Caster, J. M., Levin, E. D., & Kuhn, C. M. (2009). Are adolescents more vulnerable to drug addiction than adults? Evidence from animal models. Psychopharmacology, 206(1), 1-21.
After reading the article, answer the following questions:

-What were the results? How do the results affect your understanding of this issue?
-As a future healthcare professional, what did you learn about addiction from this study?

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-How can you improve your skills as a counselor by understanding this information?
-How was the reliability and validity of the animal research established?

In your opinion, should the animal research in this study be generalized to apply to human behavior? Explain.Research Article.
Assignment Expectations:

A successful response is typically 1000-1250 words; answers must thoroughly address each question in a clear, concise manner
Address each question in a numbered list
Minimum of 3 references in APA style




Are Adolescents more Vulnerable to Drug Addiction than Adults? Evidence from Animal Models


The article used animal experiments to establish whether adolescents are more vulnerable to drug addiction than adults using adolescent rodents. In the experiment, adolescent rodents were introduced to a place with the rewarding effects of induced drug sensations.Research Article.

The animals are then left alone and their behaviors observed, if the animal on its own approaches the place with drugs, the conclusion is that the drug is rewarding (Schramm-Sapyta et al., 2009). Both animals and human beings are believed to seek rewarding drugs more than non-rewarding drugs among other factors.Research Article.

The study was mainly focused on determining the persistence and extent of the reward of the induced substance. The test was is high-dose sensitive as the induced drugs tended to be rewarding at low and medium doses and aversive at high doses.Research Article.

Question 1

The study’s results indicated that the balance of rewarding and aversive effects of the induced substance on the rodents is reward-oriented in adolescent rodents. The rodent model literature also indicated that an increase in drug abuse reward does not lead to a relative increase in drug intake. Certain drugs and the method of intake significantly determine what age abuses these drugs voluntarily.

The research also established that adolescent rodents coped well with withdrawal effects which safeguard them against compulsive drug-seeking. The study sought evidence from other studies that examined neuronal function. These studies established that there are several age-related effects although no evidence supports the connection between these effects and the vulnerability to substance use disorders (SUD).

The study also found that some factors lead to recreational drug use in adolescents although no evidence was found that links pathology and drug-seeking behavior (Schramm-Sapyta et al., 2009).

Based on the study’s findings, it is evident that drug abuse can be attributed to the reward received from the abuse of that particular drug. For instance, the rodents introduced to drugs went to seek the area where the drug was independent, aiming at getting the reward they received after being injected with that drug.Research Article.

For this reason, adolescents may therefore tend to abuse more drugs than adults as long as the drug has a rewarding effect. Research Article.In the case of withdrawal, withdrawal symptoms vary from drug to drug, the time consumed, and the extent of exposure as per the study’s findings.Research Article.

These factors are analogous to human beings. Therefore, successful withdrawal from drugs among adolescents results in less drug-seeking, as compared to when adolescents are more sensitive to drug withdrawal effects.

Question 2

From the study, drug addiction can be due to different factors. Before dealing with a drug addict individual, it is essential to assess the factors behind their drug abuse, their withdrawal attempts and effects associated as well as the specific drug abused.

For instance, adolescents may tend to drug-seek more than adults based on the reward obtained from a particular type of drug. Due to the rewarding effect of a certain drug, adolescents will tend to seek that particular drug more than the other drugs (Schneider et al., 2012).Research Article.

Also, I have learned that repeated exposure to a certain drug may increase the drug-seeking behavior of an individual. The other factor that needs to be assessed when dealing with an addicted individual is the type of drug administration. For instance, drug addicts voluntarily consume drugs where the most likely method of administration is self-administration.Research Article.

As a counselor, I believe that the decision to seek addiction treatment is not an easy decision that requires great trust with my patients. The importance of therapeutic alliance is to make patients feel free in sharing their addiction behavior and enable them to work together effectively (Kelly, 2015).Research Article.

Using the study above, a counselor can improve their skills in treating addiction among youths in several ways. One is to first create a therapeutic alliance with the patient. Through this, patients will be ready to share any important information that will facilitate their recovery process as they perceive the counselor as trustworthy. The next step is to determine the rewarding effect of the drug consumed by the presented patient. Determining the rewarding effect informs the counselor of the behavior of the individual and establishes a good approach to deal with the addiction behavior. The other skill to apply based on this information when dealing with an addict is to determine the type of drug administration involved. As discussed above, voluntary administration will increase the addiction to the drug abused. Lastly, counselors should assess the withdrawal effects of the patient.

Question 3

The reliability and validity of the article were established through several approaches. First, the article was written by professional authors specialized in medicine hence proficiency is guaranteed. Also, the article is available at the National Library of Medicine which proves its reliability.

The article has related cited articles that are reviewed by experts and scholars before their publication which means a reliable and authoritative source. Looking at the article’s content, the abstract explains the authors’ objectives, the method used, and the conclusion (Schramm-Sapyta et al., 2009). This means that a reader can just read the abstract and know what the article is all about without getting into the details of the article.

The evidence presented in the article proves its reliability and validity as external citations include the author’s name and publication year. The authors of the article ensured to provide evidence of their assertions and not just what was agreed on.

Additionally, the validity of the research is justified as the researchers have established similarities between animal models and the human condition. The research further proves its reliability as the independent model in the study is easily manipulated while its dependent variable is measured in standard conditions (Schramm-Sapyta et al., 2009).

Question 4

Yes. Although not all animal research should be generalized to human beings, applying the findings from this research to human beings is effective. The world medical association adopted in Helsinki, the source of national laws on biomedical research, ascertains that it is unethical to experiment with new therapies directly on human beings.

Firstly, the research used rodents in the experiment. Both human beings and mice belong to the mammal kingdom and are very similar biologically. The body functionality of mice is similar to that of human beings. For this reason, the behavior of the rodents such as drug withdrawal when subjected to certain drugs during the study can be applied to human beings’ behavior. It is, therefore, justifiable to apply the findings of the study to human beings and drug addiction.

Further, it is established that animals react the same way to some drugs and different to others just as human beings (Pious, 1966). From the research, rodents reacted differently to certain drugs induced on them. For instance, the reward effect of certain drugs was noticed among rodents while others revealed aversive effects.

In case of withdrawal, rodents presented with differences in withdrawal symptoms in certain drugs such as ethanol where its withdrawal symptoms included autonomic arousal and tremor. The same case occurs with human beings where they experience different withdrawal symptoms depending on the drug abused.

For this reason, it is okay to apply this research to human beings. The effectiveness of using animal experiments, especially about drugs is that researchers can randomly assign the age of initial drug exposure to the animal, duration, drug type, and dosage whereas in human studies these conditions can be presented by the user only. This makes the findings from animal research more valuable, appropriate and reliable.


The article aimed at evaluating whether adolescent rodents have differences in rewarding sensitivity, reinforcing, aversive, locomotor, and withdrawal-induced effects of drug abuse. Drugs such as cocaine, nicotine, marijuana, and amphetamine were used in the research as the commonly used for their mood-altering effects (Schramm-Sapyta et al., 2009).

Several findings such as drug rewarding effects, withdrawal symptoms, locomotor behaviors, voluntary administration, repeated exposure, and the drug-seeking effect were established in the research. These findings are crucial for counselors to employ when dealing with an addiction condition among human beings.

Additionally, counselors can use the established findings to make individualized decisions in strategizing ways of approaching addiction behavior. The reliability and validity of the article are demonstrated from the related works cited which are approved by scholars, the in-text citations supported by their source, the evidence of the authors’ arguments as well as the source of the article. Lastly, the research can be applied to human behavior because rodents and human beings have similar biological functioning.




Kelly, T. M. (2015). The therapeutic alliance and psychosocial interventions for successful treatment of addiction. Psychiatric Times32(4), 33-33.

Pious, S. (1966). Attitudes toward the Use of Animals in Psychological Research and Education. Psychological

Science7, 352-358.

Schneider, S., Peters, J., Bromberg, U., Brassen, S., Miedl, S. F., Banaschewski, T., … & IMAGEN Consortium. (2012). Risk-taking and the adolescent reward system: a potential common link to substance abuse. American Journal of Psychiatry169(1), 39-46.

Schramm-Sapyta, N. L., Walker, Q. D., Caster, J. M., Levin, E. D., & Kuhn, C. M. (2009). Are adolescents more vulnerable to drug addiction than adults? Evidence from animal models. Psychopharmacology206(1), 1-21.

Also check:  Animal Research