Why do I feel slightly drunk at times?
That's why sometimes you get drunk so quickly - and sometimes you don't
Actually everything was completely within the framework. Sure, you hadn't had a drink, but at least half of the people you went out with were much, much, much more drunk than you. So why, why, do you wake up with that epic hangover? You weren't that drunk after all. You swear, not for the first time, but this time for sure, to renounce alcohol. No more. After a frozen pizza and a lot of mate, you believe that you will at least survive the day. But you still don't get it because you really weren't that drunk.
If this experience sounds familiar, you can now be helped on the jumps. Not with a reliable anti-hangover remedy, but at least with an explanation. It can be found in a study that the authors published in BMC Public Health.
The researchers wanted to know how we judge how drunk we are. First you get into the nozzle. Because you should think that there is only one basis for this, namely the amount of alcohol that you have drunk. Anyone who has drunk too much a couple of times has an approximate rule of thumb for the limit of the film break.
But the researchers had a different assumption. They assume that the social environment in which we drink plays a crucial role. This doesn't just mean the people you drink with, but also the people who drink around you.
In order to investigate this assumption, the researchers were out and about in the Cardiffer nightlife. More than 1,800 volunteers did an alcohol breath test for them - 477 of these test subjects also answered a short questionnaire. How drunk they feel and how great they assess the health risks associated with it. The researchers then compared the answers with the results of the breath tests.
And it did indeed show that how drunk the participants rated themselves was not so much to do with the amount of alcohol drunk, but more to do with the people they hung out with. If there were drunk people in the group, the participants assumed that they themselves would definitely be less drunk or even sober. Even if they were just as drunk.
This comparison with others leads us to sometimes mistakenly believe that we are not drunk at all. And so we continue to drink happily because we believe that we have not yet reached our personal level. The result: the monster hangover the next day and great confusion. Because we weren't that drunk after all!
The researchers assume that mechanisms are at play here that have something to do with so-called psychophysics. This describes the interrelationships between our subjective perception and measurable stimuli. In this case: how drunk we feel and our actual blood alcohol level.
With alcohol, this correlation can be dangerous. Because we don't rely on our own feelings, but rather orientate ourselves towards our fellow drinkers. And we can really misjudge ourselves. Because if you think he * she is not that drunk yet because others are apparently even more drunk, you can not only deal with the monster hangover, but also a few other problems.
Anyone who has ever believed that they could still climb over this one fence or dismantle this one road sign safely knows that. Drunk overconfidence can be really bad. Regardless of the fact that too much alcohol is of course also harmful to health.
So next time you think you're pretty sober because everyone around you is already having a good cup of tea, that might be the time to stop.
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