Recent studies show that how drunk you feel while out with friends is relative. Meaning, if they’re pretty drunk you’re likely to feel pretty drunk as well, even if you’ve had only two drinks and they’ve been out all night.
BioMed Central Public Health conducted a twenty-four month study and a large scale street survey and found, based on the responses of 1,862 people at bars and pubs on Friday and Saturday nights that many drinkers evaluate their degree of inebriation based on those around them.
Four questions were used in the surveys to determine this: How drunk are you right now, on a scale of 1 to 10? How extreme has your drinking been tonight? If you drank as much as you have tonight every week, how likely is it that you will damage your health in the next 15 years (yikes)? And finally, if you drank as much every week as you have tonight, how high is the risk that you’ll have cirrhosis of the liver in 15 years?
Those are some tough questions for self-reflection. But blood alcohol content was also recorded, and that’s where we find our real answers.
According to Tasting Table, the results of the study showed that many of the people surveyed based their answers off of how they were feeling among their group, and answers reflected the overall level of inebriation of the group rather than on actual blood alcohol levels.
The study also suggests that if more sober people mingled around the bar scene on weekends, that the overall level of drunkenness would cool down. Care to test that out?
While the study needs further testing to really prove the hypothesis, the findings are fairly convincing. I’m hoping to read soon that the researchers have tried dispersing a vast number of sober people among the inebriated bar-goers on Friday and Saturday nights. Mostly, I’m interested in learning whether those sober people made everyone behave a little better, or whether the drunkenness rubs off on them, bringing the opposite effect of what’s desired. Either way, it’s sure to be a fun time.