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Bad and Boozy – Explore what people do when they have been drinking

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Although we tend to associate hangovers with the morning after a boozy night out with friends, in this quarantine social landscape many people are simply drinking alone. For most of us, the choice of drink is a personal preference, and the resulting hangover a function of how much we drink. There are some factors that influence the severity and duration of a hangover, however, as well as widespread beliefs about the factor that the type of alcohol itself can play. Among documented causes of hangover intensity are the type of mixer used in an alcoholic cocktail, as are the presence of congeners that color the drink. Congeners are byproducts of alcohol fermentation and are perhaps most closely associated with whiskey. As the thinking goes, the darker the whiskey, the more congeners and perhaps the worse the resulting hangover will be.

There are some beliefs, however, that the type of alcohol itself can influence the likelihood of producing a hangover the next day. The top two spots went to tequila, which over a fifth of respondents believed would produce the worst hangover, and vodka, which another fifth believed was the worst culprit. Whiskey, interestingly, accounted for less than a fifth of the total stated drinks that respondents believed would cause bad hangovers. Here then are our complete findings as to which types of alcohol are most widely thought to cause an unpleasant morning after.

 

Too Much To Drink

A hangover is one of many uncomfortable complications of drinking too much, however. Among others is the perhaps stereotypically feared consequence of finding yourself naked in public after getting a bit too tipsy. One notable scandal was the University of Kentucky hazing scandal in which multiple students were made to binge drink and appear naked in public. This resulted in staff responsible for overseeing the students being fired. Although this is one example, there are no shortage of instances in which alcohol and public nudity are closely intertwined. In our own sample, over a third of respondents reported having at least one instance of public nudity following their own experiences with alcohol.

Although there was an apparent trend towards pricier booze resulting in public nudity less often, the data speak for themselves in terms of individual drinks and the propensity to remove one’s clothing. Of note is that the top four drinks reported accounted for over 90% of the instances of public nudity, suggesting a clustering of drinks around which people tend to find themselves naked in the company of strangers. It is also possible that these drinks: vodka, rum, tequila and whiskey, are simply more frequently served in bars or at parties in which people are more likely to be able to expose themselves to others. After all, if you drink at home and strip naked, no one other than your roommates or neighbors looking through open windows can really complain.

 

Instant Regret

A hangover is one of many uncomfortable complications of drinking too much, however. Among others is the perhaps stereotypically feared consequence of finding yourself naked in public after getting a bit too tipsy. One notable scandal was the University of Kentucky hazing scandal in which multiple students were made to binge drink and appear naked in public. This resulted in staff responsible for overseeing the students being fired. Although this is one example, there are no shortage of instances in which alcohol and public nudity are closely intertwined. In our own sample, over a third of respondents reported having at least one instance of public nudity following their own experiences with alcohol.

Although there was an apparent trend towards pricier booze resulting in public nudity less often, the data speak for themselves in terms of individual drinks and the propensity to remove one’s clothing. Of note is that the top four drinks reported accounted for over 90% of the instances of public nudity, suggesting a clustering of drinks around which people tend to find themselves naked in the company of strangers. It is also possible that these drinks: vodka, rum, tequila and whiskey, are simply more frequently served in bars or at parties in which people are more likely to be able to expose themselves to others. After all, if you drink at home and strip naked, no one other than your roommates or neighbors looking through open windows can really complain.

Lavish Libations

Another favorite pastime among people who have a bit too much to drink now and again is the storied drunken tattoo. Indeed, sometimes this is the only permanent fixture of a night that can be all too quickly forgotten, a reminder of fun times and impulsive decisions made with friends. Of course, it is far more difficult to get a tattoo at all in this lockdown social climate. There are also complications to getting a tattoo while drunk, as excess alcohol consumption can make it easier to bleed and for longer, so the artist will have a more difficult time making a clear image. What’s more, the consent form required in most parlors requires the customer to be sober enough to read, understand and sign legibly.

In our sample, between 3 and 4 percent of respondents copped to getting a tattoo while drunk. Those who did also reported the type of alcohol they had been drinking before making their decision. The top three types of alcohol accounted for 80% of the types consumed before getting inked, which may suggest a correlation between consumption and the ultimate decision to get a tattoo while intoxicated. Vodka in particular accounted for over 40% of the drinks our respondents reported having consumed before getting a tattoo.

A Permanent Reminder

Setting the world on fire might be what someone intends to do when they go out for a fun time with friends, of course in a figurative sense, but some people end up doing the real thing by mistake. Although it may sound ridiculous, over ten percent of our respondents claimed to have lit a fire while drunk. And they are far from alone: recent news reports include a woman in North Spokane, Washington who claims to have lit parked cars on fire. In her own words, “They were unlocked. I wasn’t thinking clearly. I had alcohol in my system.”

Of the types of alcohol consumed before such an event, hopefully less dramatic than the ones reported by that unfortunate woman, our respondents reported a total of four beverages consumed. Over a third reported having drunk tequila, over a quarter reported having drunk whisky and the rest were split between rum and vodka. Here then you can see the full results with precise percentage breakdowns.

Deadly Decisions

Perhaps the most unfortunate thing that can happen when drinking is the feared blackout, in which the drinker loses consciousness as their brain attempts to protect them from further intoxication. It is from this sudden loss of consciousness that the term “blacking out” derives, as the person’s field of vision abruptly fades to black before waking up somewhere else hours later. To compound these problems, many people attempt to treat their own anxiety with alcohol and blacking out can lead to a worsening of their symptoms. What’s more, someone can move, speak and even seem to make decisions while blacked out.

Different types of alcohol are believed to have uneven effects in terms of blacking out, so we decided to poll our sample to find out their favorite type of alcohol. The two highest average yearly blackouts were among respondents who preferred tequila and rum, with an average of over 3 times per year for each group. For data on every type, see here the average number of blackouts per year as divided by beverage of choice.

The Road to Recovery

Regardless of how often you drink, or how casual it may seem, the reality is the consequences of excessive alcohol consumption can happen to anyone – and in some cases, they can be deadly. Of the more than 15 million adults in the U.S. suffering from alcohol use disorder, less than one in 10 received treatment at a specialized facility for their condition in 2015.

If you or someone you love is battling with alcohol misuse, there is the help available. At Addictions.com, we believe in finding the right treatment facility for your needs means helping you take back your life. With a specialized plan for recovery, detox, rehab, and relapse prevention are within reach. To learn more and start your road to recovery today, visit our rehab centers page. 

Methodology

We surveyed 2152 people who use or have used alcohol. These people chose to participate in the survey openly. The only qualifier was that the people surveyed had to have been intoxicated (drunk) at least one time in the last year. 152 of the respondents were taken out due to incomplete responses.

Want to use our study or data from our study?

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