A week ago I had dinner with a respected drug policy expert who disapproves of drug legalization because he sees big negative externalities from alcohol use, and expects legalizing other drugs to make that worse. Which makes some sense. But the picture changes once one realizes that alcohol’s disruptive effects are mostly in our heads:
It seems to me that the quoted point about alcohol ignores some well established pharmacological effects. "It's all in her expectations" doesn't cut any ice when we provoke a rage reaction from a cat by electrically stimulating its hypothalamus.
That being said, I do believe the generalized point stands well enough on its own; that social expectations and symbols of bad behavior are largely at work when determining why some behavior is deemed inappropriate even when it doesn't quite need to be.
Did you see this? It could be that people knew which kind of beer they were drinking, but I think that there are some genuine effects. "Drinking alcohol made people of both genders more likely to recognize happy faces, exhibit emotional empathy, and find sexually explicit pictures more pleasant…with this last effect being more marked for women than men. Note that the study did not find changes in sexual arousal. " That is from the Forbes article, pick your source: https://www.google.com/sear...
Hi Paul - Robin Room is one of the giants - and he is also problematizing a bit in this one: www.robinroom.net/intoxbad.pdf
Alcohol is a fantastic performance enhancing drug right up until the point where it immediately becomes a harmful toxin that makes you make a fool of yourself. http://www.squidoo.com/the-...
That new yorker article has a perfectly good explanation of what is going on with alcohol.
Thursday's point about people talking about drugs and alcohol who have never been drunk is, in my opinion, a very good one. Especially if you are taking the position that the effects of alcohol are generally placebo, get yourself up to a 0.15% blood level at a party or a bar in a social situation.
On the other side, the point that westerners use alcohol to lubricate sports-tribal violence and casual sex very well probably is convention. But I think it is convention that grew up around alcohol use because alcohol is particularly suited in its actual effects to supporting the enjoyment of these activities.
I have to agree with Thursday.
Steven, comma abuse is a serious problem in our culture. Step off and let real professionals handle this. You have been warned.
Not to troll, Thursday, but for the love of all that's holy: If you're speaking about a subject in the singular, use "his" or "her," never "their." You've made some very cogent arguments here and you're ruining them needlessly, in particular because you repeated it incorrectly.
I prefer cigars over alcohol: http://andreasmoser.wordpre...
Doug, further to Thursday's point, there is a substantial difference between snorting a drug and ingesting it. In the former case, all of the active chemical enters your blood stream in about 2-5 minutes, while when drinking/eating it takes 15-45 minutes, depending on one's weight. When a drug is delivered in a more concentrated/efficient way, it will have stronger effects. This is one more piece of evidence that people doing this genre of study are probably unfamiliar with alcohol and drugs work. I think the "sugar high" debunking is instructive; it's an open secret that no such thing exists. I've never had a sugar high, nor ever seen someone act differently after ingesting lots of sugar. On the other hand, some outrageous percentage of violent crimes (like 70%) are committed under the influence of alcohol.
Talk about sample size, my sample size is gigantic (joke). I can only talk about me, and what people have said about me.
If drunk, then I am more open, more nice and less judgmental.
There was only one situation where being drunk had led me to more aggressive VERBAL tendencies, but that is all.
Out of all that time, one time, had shown me to be someone I'm not verbally. Every other time was a better me.
I think all of this depends on the person. Social science is so hard to study and get real answers. I'm sure culture, DNA and the rest play a role, but I know many peeps who are not me that should not be drinking. On the flip-side, others should....
1 g of "cocaine" off the street with about 30% actual cocaine = 300 mg cocaine
300mg/4.2mg per cup of tea = 71 cups of tea!
Some example quotes:
Low doses of alcohol have been found to increase aggressive behaviour in mice (Krsiak, 1976), increase or decrease aggression depending on whether confrontations took place in neutral or home cages. ...During a competition between three dogs over a bone, low doses of alcohol increased aggression in subordinate dogs but reduced aggression in higher ranking dogs….Weitz (1974) found that alcohol increased fighting behaviour in pairs of male rats when electric foot shock was employed. In contrast, Tramill et al. (1980) found that low doses of alcohol decreased aggression towards a lever when single-restrained rats were shocked.
Sometimes aggressiveness is increased, sometimes it is decreased. Just like in humans, right?
I can only speak for myself when I say that having a few drinks does not make me aggressive or make me walk up to women and say "Want to root?" (root is Australian slang for "Screw"). It does however "loosen me up" and I find myself quite talkative with persons I may be too shy or timid to speak with otherwise. I found this out by performing my own double-blind test... In fact I was totally blind once I had reached my conclusion! ;)
A single average sized "line" of insufflated cocaine is about 30 mg. Someone drinking 4 glasses of coca tea or chewing 1/4 oz of coca leafs, which is not uncommon in Andean cultures, is consuming on the order of the moles of cocaine as a typical Western powder recreational user.