5 Things You Need to Know About Alcohol, Backed By Research

4 minute read
Barker is the author of Barking Up The Wrong Tree

  • If you want to crack someone’s skull, use an empty beer bottle, not a full one. Are you a mean drunk but don’t want to get into fights? Take Prozac. Just thinking about alcohol can increase aggressiveness. People who suppress their anger are most likely to get violent when drinking. Force bars to close early and violent crime goes down. Ban liquor and the homicide rate goes up. Alcohol increases aggression because intoxicated people are more likely to interpret things as deliberate vs accidental. Booze reduces anxiety but not fear. Yes, that big drunk guy at the bar is as dangerous as you thought. You can predict the level of violence in an area just by looking at alcohol sales. Vodka is more associated with homicide than beer or wine.
  • You drastically underestimate how much alcohol it would take for you to vomit or blackout. Alcohol is the most harmful drug. You’ll act drunk whether you’ve had real alcohol or a placebo. Letting your teenager drink at home while supervised is a terrible idea. Ban smoking and you get more drunk driving. Yes, the Irish drink as much as you think but they also have a very high number of abstainers. Drink too much and want to clean up your act? Have a daughter, not a son. 31% of rock star deaths are related to drugs or alcohol. You don’t function better after when you add Red Bull to your Vodka — you just think you do.
  • Drinking makes you wealthier, can stave off dementia and help you live a long life. Have the bartender use a tall, thin glass, not a short, fat one. Bar owners get you to drink more by turning up the music. You’re more creative when you’re drunk. These great works of literature were created thanks to drinking. Mild drinking during pregnancy can lead to smarter and healthier kids. Alcohol may help you achieve your goals.
  • Smart people are more likely to binge drink. Binge drinking the night before a test doesn’t negatively affect grades but overall drinking does hurt academic performance. Drunk people are just as effective an eyewitness as sober people. Getting drunk makes you more think more politically conservative. 1 in 5 country music songs refers to alcohol, 1 in 3 to tears, 1 in 7 to mama. It’s not the booze talking. You know what you’re doing when you’re drunk, alcohol just makes you care less about the consequences. We crave alcohol slightly less than coffee but more than sports or shopping. It’s easier to resist booze than checking email. Women like wine better when they think it’s expensive. These countries drink the most.
  • One of the best predictors of how sexual a woman is is how much she drinks. Yes, drinking leads to sex. No, alcohol doesn’t make it much harder for a guy to perform sexually. Men get more sexually aggressive when they drink because alcohol makes it hard for them to distinguish when women are being flirty vs friendly. Drinking (or just thinking you’re drinking) can make you feel more attractive. Beer goggles are real but it’s not just the beer causing goggles. Women probably get beer goggles worse than men. The answer to whether people like the taste of beer can predict if they have sex on the first date.
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    This piece originally appeared on Barking Up the Wrong Tree.

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