The pounding head. The parched mouth. And, worst of all, the crushing sense of anxiety as you cast your (foggy) mind back to the night before and try to remember if you said or did anything awful.
Most of us have woken up with a hangover at some point and struggled through the day wondering how on earth a few drinks can leave us feeling so wretched ("Can I die from a hangover?" has more than 15 million hits on Google). But the medical definition of a hangover has finally been settled by a German court, which last month ruled it should be classed as an official illness.
Hangover is a proper 'illness' now.
In February, a team of German scientists studying hangovers, writing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found hangover prevention beliefs such as "beer before wine and you'll feel fine" were scientifically unproven.
"If alcohol was invented today – and treated like a new food additive coming to the market – the recommended safe dose would be about a glass of wine per year. We're very harsh on new food and drink meeting certain criteria, but we have a blind spot towards alcohol because it's so embedded into our culture.
"There's dehydration," says Prof Nutt. "There's inflammation of the brain, which is on a par with a bad cold or flu. The pumping headache is caused by an increase in blood pressure. In fact, incidences of strokes go up on a Sunday and Monday due to weekend alcohol consumption.
"And then there's hangxiety - hang-over anxiety - which is due to something called Gaba (gamma-aminobutyric acid)," explains Prof Nutt. "Alcohol targets the Gaba receptor, which sends messages through the brain and nervous system to inhibit the activity of nerve cells, which calms the brain. Alcohol stimulates Gaba, which is why you begin to unwind and feel happy when you drink."
There's dehydration. There's inflammation of the brain. The pumping headache is caused by an increase in blood pressure.
After the first few drinks, you start blocking glutamate, which causes anxiety, and this leads to the devil-may-care stage that sees you buying another round and missing your last train. However, the body registers these imbalances and begins to bring Gaba levels down and glutamate back up. So, overnight, the happy, carefree you in the pub becomes the anxious, mildly depressed one you see in the bathroom mirror the next morning.
"Then there's sleep," continues Prof Nutt. "After four hours of going to bed, withdrawal kicks in, so you don't sleep particularly well. Water before bed to stave off a hangover, or drinking a lot of beer, means getting up early to go to the lavatory, which affects sleep further. And a lack of sleep makes hangxiety worse."
Glutamate also plays a role in memory, and after around seven drinks the glutamate system is blocked. And if you can't remember what you said in the pub, it further increases hangxiety.
After four hours of going to bed, withdrawal kicks in, so you don't sleep particularly well. And a lack of sleep makes hangxiety worse.
Professor David Nutt, Imperial College London
So do hangovers get worse with age? "There's no evidence they do," says Sally Adams, an assistant professor in health psychology at the University of Bath. "Liver mass reduces with age, so your liver is less effective at metabolising alcohol.
So far today police in Australia would have dealt with on average511 domestic violence matters
There has been a 26 per cent decrease in alcohol-related assaults in the Northern Territory since it introduced the country's first alcohol floor price and rolled out a range of new measures.
A preliminary data assessment published by the People's Alcohol Action Coalition and the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) showed there was also a 21 per cent decrease overall in domestic violence incidences in the NT since the floor price's introduction on October 1, 2018 until July 31, 2019.
The floor price set a minimum amount for which alcohol can be sold at $1.30 per standard drink.
In Alice Springs, where a raft of reforms were introduced following the 2017 release of the Riley review into alcohol policies, there has been a 43 per cent reduction in alcohol-related assaults and a 38 per cent reduction in domestic violence during that same period.
Concurrently, Tennant Creek saw drops of 28 per cent for both alcohol-related assaults and domestic violence.
One day for our global social movement to get together virtually and literally in communities around the world and celebrate the lifestyle of the 21st century.
October 3, every year, is the
World Alcohol-Free Day©.
On this day all DRINK REVOLUTIONARIES organize activities, take over social media, create alcohol free environments and spread awesomeness in their communities.
Here you can get all the inspiration you need for October 3, 2019 to join this year’s World Alcohol-Free Day.
The theme is #SoFree.
For awesome activities to celebrate the alcohol-free lifestyle and all its benefits. Check it out and try it out on October 3rd.
Check out #YesToMore
Check out #MagicDrinks
First published: 11 June 2019 https://doi.org/10.1111/add.14615
Aims: The main aim of this study was to assess the relationship between parental attitudes towards children's alcohol use and their child's alcohol use. Secondary aims included assessing the relationship between attitudes reported by parents and those perceived by children, and between perceived parental attitudes and children's alcohol use.
Methods: Meta‐analysis of studies reporting on the associations between parental attitudes towards children's alcohol use and children's self‐reported alcohol use. Published, peer‐reviewed cross‐sectional and longitudinal studies were identified from the following databases up to April 2018: Medline, PsycINFO, EMBASE, Scopus and Web of Science. Quality assessment was performed by using guidelines developed by Hayden, Cote & Bombardier. Pooled effect sizes were calculated by using random‐effects meta‐analyses, if there were at least two studies that could be included per analysis. Of 7471 articles screened, 29 were included comprising data from 16 477 children and 15 229 parents.
Conclusions: Less restrictive parental attitudes towards children's alcohol use are associated with increases in children's alcohol use onset, alcohol use frequency and drunkenness. Children's perception of less restrictive parental attitudes is associated with children's alcohol use.