Alcohol highs, esp. gin

I saw once in a film that drinking gin produces a high similar to taking lithium or valium. Can anyone confirm this?

Gin does not appeal to me as a drink.

Lithium and Valium are two completely different drugs that are often confused to be similar. Valium is a brand name for a benzodiazepine called diazepam, while lithium is actually it’s chemical name (lithium carbonate). Maybe the film was referring to Librium, which is another benzodiazepine known as chlordiazepoxide. Alcohol and benzodiazepines, from what I understand, produce their effects by working on the neurotransmitter GABA; however, they do so in different ways. Benzodiazepines are more selective and produce a cleaner “buzz” by hitting the emotion centers of the brain without interfering with motor coordination and other processes to the extent that alcohol does. They’re both downers, but the feeling is different. Why gin would be any different than any other form of alcohol I do not know.

Acording to my PDR, the effects of too much gin or valium are pretty much the same.

That is vomiting, stupor, unconciousness, respiratory failure and death.

Think that’s what they meant?

Man, I bet it packs a wicked buzz though. Just before you go into a coma, I mean.

The primary flavoring agent in gin is the juniper berry, which according to this site has a stimulatory effect on the muscular and circulatory systems, yet it also has a calming effect. Go figure.

Anyway, my personal experience with gin has been anything but a calm one. In fact, gin and tequila are the only two kinds of alchohol that I have perceived a “different” effect from, compared to all other alchoholic beverages and spirits. “Different” is used in this case to denote “f**king insane.”

This has to be subjective, or due to the absorption rate of the drink it is mixed into (or not mixed into), or something, I’m sure. But until I find out, I can tell you that only gin, be it in a gimlet, a martini, with tonic or even in the Christmas punch, will have me making out with the boss’ daughter at his birthday party or showing up at the bar to meet my buddies in a clown suit.

But who really needs to ask why when you’re having that much fun?

I can testify to the relative effects of gin and benzodiazapines, having consumed large quantities of both, though generally not at the same time. My reaction to gin is no different than any other distilled alcoholic beverage (with the exception of tequila, to which I am allergic; every time I drink it, I break out in handcuffs). Benzodiazapines (such as Xanax, my tranq of choice) don’t produce any similar intoxication, high or even euphoria; I get very relaxed and laid back. They don’t call it the “I Don’t Care” drug for nothing.


“Believe those who seek the truth.
Doubt those who find it.” --Andre Gide

Ya know those orange/red labels on certain script drugs (benzodiazepines, for instance) that say something like “may cause dizziness, drowsiness, loss of coordination, etc…alcohol may intensify this effect” …?

That ain’t a warning; that’s a serving suggestion!

Based on my limited experience, I would say not, handy.
However, I never did like downers and I quit drinking gin at age 17 when I got the dry heaves. (It has been 23 years, and I don’t miss the stuff a bit).