They say the truth comes out when you’re drunk.
As it turns out, published research proves that statement is surprisingly accurate. When drinking alcohol, the tongue is freed up to say exactly what is in a person’s heart. As blood alcohol levels continue to climb, the responses become increasingly primitive and hostile. In the past, it’s been easy to blame drunk and disturbing behaviors on alcohol, but that’s not cutting it anymore.
Simply put, researchers were able to show that alcohol consumption does not prevent self-control – it just makes people care less about the consequences.
A Peek Inside the Addicted Brain
Over thousands of years, the human brain has continually evolved and adapted. Under normal circumstances, the brain’s neocortex is responsible for evaluating circumstances and making sound decisions. In the presence of alcohol, however, this feature no longer functions properly. The resulting intoxication causes serious and often disturbing behavioral changes.
Researchers from the University of Missouri College of Arts and Sciences took 67 test subjects and divided them into three proportionate groups. The study participants were blindfolded and asked to drink one of three separate beverages: regular soft drinks, placebo beverages, or vodka-tonics.
Turns out drunk people know they’re making alcohol-induced mistakes, they just don’t care as much.
After downing the designated beverages, participants were asked to complete error recognition tasks on a computer. Turns out drunk people know they’re making alcohol-induced mistakes, they just don’t care as much.
Is Alcohol Some Kind of Truth Serum?
Alcohol stifles reasoning skills and contemplating repercussions. As a result, people are more likely to tell the truth while intoxicated, offering up brutally honest, unfiltered opinions. And without the fear of consequences, alcohol can give people the courage to do or say things they ordinarily wouldn’t entertain.
Unexpected Help in the Form of Shame
Like it or not, people are held accountable for what they say…drunk or sober.
One of the worst things about getting drunk is waking up the next morning with no memory of the night’s events. Instead, other people are forced to fill in the blanks and explain how hours of non-stop “brutal honesty” has likely damaged a few friendships beyond repair. Like it or not, people are held accountable for what they say…drunk or sober.
Though it’s hard to see, there is a silver lining in this scenario. For many alcohol-dependent people, an old-fashioned public meltdown is enough to create a “rock bottom.” The resulting humiliation can provide an extra push, encouraging alcoholics to ask for help and seek professional treatment.
Learn more about the treatment options for alcohol abuse and addiction.
Photo Source: istock