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Thanksgiving Day: Effects of different types of alcohol on mood

Thanksgiving Day is that time of the year when everyone heads back to his or her hometown to get together with their family, extended family and childhood friends to celebrate. Millions of people associate Thanksgiving with merriment and hit the swankiest bars in town. Getting drunk and raising toasts seems like an obvious thing to do. However, this year you might want to rethink your drinking plans as researchers have recently found that different types of alcohol affect a person’s mood differently.

The study analyzed the effects of beer, spirits and wine on people’s emotional health when they enjoy them at home and when they drink in public. It was found that spirits, which had a higher concentration of alcohol, had the potential to trigger aggression.

Spirits induce negative feelings; red wine relaxes 

The researchers used data from the Global Drug Survey, the largest resource pool of legal and illicit drugs and alcohol use among adults. The survey contained questions pertaining to feelings associated with the consumption of beer, spirits and wine at home and outside. The types of emotions that were analyzed were those of feeling relaxed, aggressive, sexy, tearful, confident, restless, energized, ill and tired. The researchers studied the responses of nearly 30,000 participants aged between 18 and 31 years. Further, the participants belonged to 21 different countries and had consumed each type of the drink at least once in the past year.

As compared to all other drinks, it was found that spirits evoked negative feelings in an individual. On the other hand, red wine elicited a positive response as 53 percent participants said that they felt relaxed after consuming it. Mark Bellis, co-author of the study, said, “For centuries, the history of rum, gin, vodka and other spirits has been laced with violence. This global study suggests even today consuming spirits is more likely to result in feelings of aggression than other drinks.” Along with aggression, the participants also associated spirit consumption with feelings of sexiness, energy and confidence.

Participants’ background also affected the results

Factors like education, age, country of origin, level of alcohol dependency and gender had a huge bearing on the participants’ responses. For example, people in the 18-24 age group expressed feeling sexy, energetic and confident with any type of alcohol, when consumed away from home.

Moreover, women were more forthcoming in associating different types of feelings with different types of alcohol. Comparatively, men were more likely to associate feelings of aggression with all types of alcohols and those who were heavily dependent on alcohol had a tendency of feeling aggressive six times more compared to the low-risk drinkers. Heavy drinkers also associated generation of positive feelings with alcohol than low-risk drinkers.

Even though the study results were inconclusive in terms of relating the type of feeling with a particular type of alcohol, it did, however, establish the fact that consumption of alcohol like spirits, beer and wine can have a huge impact on an individuals’ feelings. The authors also concluded that factors like alcohol advertising, place of consumption and the alcohol content of the drinks could also have a bearing on the results.

Dealing with alcohol addiction

Alcohol might appear to be a harmless drink but it has the potential to affect one’s feelings in a way that the entire spirit of a get-together might get defeated. This is because when one is high, one loses track of the people, place and etiquettes and might behave in a manner that he or she may regret later. This Thanksgiving, take a lead and set an example of enjoying Thanksgiving by not including any type of alcohol in your plans. However, if you are unable to keep alcohol out of your celebration plans, then maybe it is time you sought professional intervention.

The Sovereign Health of Texas offers evidence-backed detox services to ensure total recovery from addiction to alcohol or any other kind of substance. Addiction treatment specialists at our state-of-the-art detox addiction treatment center in Texas strive to ensure that every patient has the best chance of a successful and lasting recovery. For more information on our detox addiction treatment center in Texas, call our 24/7 helpline. You may also chat online with one of our experts to get the relevant information about our detox programs.

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