What is it about being drunk that makes people announce it to the world?

I recently started moonlighting as a bouncer at a pool hall, so it goes without saying that I’ve been running into a lot more drunk people lately. One thing I’ve been noticing is that a lot of them will walk up to me and announce right off the bat how sloshed they are. The following is a conversation I had with a patron of my bar last night.

“Hey, Ashtar! Guess what?”
“I’m drunk!”
“Kick ass.”
“No, you don’t understand. I’m, like, totally drunk!”
“No, seriously. I’m really, really drunk right now.”
“That’s nice.”
“No, I’m serious. Do you understand what I’m trying to tell you?”
“Yeah, that you’re drunk. That’s cool. Do you need me to call you a cab?”
“No no no. I’ll be fine. I’ve just had a lot to drink.”
“Okay, well have fun.”

I get telling someone that you’re drunk if you think you’ve just said something stupid. Ive done it myself more times than I care to count. But it’s got me wondering why people who are messed up on other substances don’t announce it.

“Guess what? I’m really stoned right now! I just smoked three joints and…what?”
“Dude, do you have any idea how much coke I just snorted? My entire paycheck’s worth! Yeah!”
“Man, I just took so much acid that I…whoa! The colors! I can see the music!”

What is it about alcohol that encourages people to just announce to total strangers how much alcohol they’ve consumed?

WOO! I am mast…

flees :smiley:

Ethanol excites the idioblab cortex within the brain, which is why drunk people call their exes at 3AM, attempt to sing Karaoke when they need a drywall bucket to carry tunes, etc. It’s a proven fact. :stuck_out_tongue:

Ah, when you said “announce it to the world” I thought you meant why do they announce any well kept secret. Like when I told my sister that my girlfriend had a bit of a pregnancy scare and was awaiting results. Which came back positive.

I don’t know why they (I?) do it, but I do know I’ve also heard people (usually young) say things like, “Man, I am soooooo hiiiigh,” or “Whoa, I’m trippin’ balls.” So it’s not just alcohol.

This used to be one of my biggest pet peeves. I haven’t encountered it in a while, so I can’t say if it still bugs me as much or not.

When I was in college, I found myself dealing with alot of people my age who had grown up in some sort of weird world (obviously not the same world where I grew up) and alcohol was this whole new awesome thing that they just had to use. Every day. wooohoo!

Me, I grew up in a family of drunks. From Friday to Sunday, everyone would be gathered in some form and drinking heavily. My dad never seemed to grow out of that excitement (read: he’s an alcoholic) like everyone else did.

Not once did one of my relatives ever announce how drunk they were. No one I knew ever counted their drinks and made note of it.

So when I was in college, and feeling particularly angered by my dad’s alcohol use and wishing to be around folks mature enough to have a few beers in a mature sort of way - it pissed me the hell off when people would brag about how drunk they were, how many beers they just had, how smashed they got the night before, or how hungover they were. It filled me with alot of rage.

If you’re gonna drink, that’s dandy. Aren’t you cool? I had a few drinks too - you don’t have to tell me about it.


Whoops…lost myself there, I meandered down to The Pit.

Anyway, it saddens me that people outside of college do this. Adults at bars. A shame :frowning:

It’s all about who can be the biggest attention whore.

Sadly, it is much simpler than that.

When you are drunk, or stoned, recognizing the fact comes as a great surprise, and seems a significant aspect of your personal being. The frequency of intoxication will mute this awe struck feeling of revelation, but only at speeds of reasonable thought as performed by drunks or stoners.

And even more sadly, that topic of conversation is among the more newsworthy and important things that drunks and stoners talk about.

If you were as stupid sober as you are when you are drunk; you would not notice how boring it is. That’s why drunks hang out together.


Alcohol is liquid stupidity, basically. It pounds the GABAnergic system with a nice fat wallop, making you feel all relaxed, uninhibited, and cognitively dull, plus it throws in a nice hit of dopaminergic bliss, paradoxically exciting the mesolimbic portion of the brain into an ergotropic blitzkrieg of unfocused hornyness, hyperactivity, and boundless euphoria. It makes you go bonkers, lowers your IQ about fifty points, and pulls out all the stops, unless you knock yourself unconscious while you’re at it. You’re just so happy! It’s all so fun! And why not SHARE!! You can’t imagine people aren’t feeling as enthusiastic about it all as you, because you’re now a completely unchecked idiot on a love rampage. Woo-hoo!

So explain mean drunks. :slight_smile:

I still like to use the phrase, “Running it out” whenever I run into a person like this. Whether it be drinking, eating, studying, or working, some people just arent willing to acknowledge you understand just how drunk, full, crammed, or tired they are.

It bothered me then, and bothers me today. So, yeah, it would probably still bug you. I had a roomate in college who would stack his empties around his chair, as a monument to his inebriation. Classy.
Even worse than people that count their own drinks, are people that count other people’s drinks. I eventually switched over to Jack/Captain and Pepsi, just to piss 'em off.


To be honest, I can’t. I really don’t get the mean drunk. Virtually everyone I ever knew, when fitshaced drunk, is just a big, happy idiot. “I LOVE you, maaaan! WOOOOO!” I stagger around with a gigantic, stupid grin on my face and hug people. It’s completely out of character. My wife can’t stop laughing. Everybody’s happy! What makes the belligerent drunk tick? That’s a very good question.

Doesn’t alcohol enhance a person’s natural personality? The drunks I have seen all are this way. A jerk becomes a major asshole; a cynical, melancholy person becomes incredibly sad; and a happy person becomes lively and amorous.

Mean drunks are mean sobers, IMHO.

Met my Dad, then have you? Alcohol just loosenes the reins he tries to hold on his anger, sarcasm and cynicism when he’s sober and my Mom’s around. I’ve never heard him announce he’s drunk; rather, he denies it. The announcing thing, that must be for people trying to enjoy themselves w/ drink, not fix themselves w/ it.
I recall announcing my drunken state the first time I realized it, at age 13 at a restaurant outing where I’d snuck someone else’s beers. And it was because I was surprised.

I am currently drunk and have not told anybody (other than you lot). I think it might have something to do with the macho thing with men. No man wants to be known as the ‘pussy’ of the group when it comes to drinking apparently.

I, however would be happy if I could get drunk off say a beer or two. :slight_smile:

Alcohol loosens the reins, but I don’t know if this is factually supported.

Yeah, maybe they’re just naturally handicapped in the bliss department. I don’t think alcohol is merely an enhancer of personality, though. Everything it does to the brain should (and often does) invoke a measure of euphoria; so the fact some people just get surly may suggest they’re not “wired” for euthymia, and hence something more intensely pleasurable. EtOH is certainly a disinhibitor, so I guess the socially reinforced censors appear to “enhance” an already miserable disposition. “Unleash” might be an appropriate way to think about it.

Personally I always thought alcohol enhanced the mood you were in at the time. If I’m out drinking and having a good time with my friends and husband, then I’m one of the happy, love everyone, let’s-have-a-party WOO! types. If I’m in a good mood, I become a million times happier. But if I’m not feeling good at the start of the night, if I’m depressed or angry, unless someone really jolts me out of it, I end up becoming quite maudlin and/or belligerent. Luckily I usually drink with my friends, so we’re having a good time anyway, and I don’t get down all that much.

I may be wrong about this, but I think, in adition to EtOH’s more-or-less direct effects upon the CNS, its metabolite, acetaldehyde, can combine chemically with dopamine to form a new compound that is an agonist of at least some opiate receptors. This also should produce a euphoric, as well as anaesthetic effect. I’ll try to look up more when I have the time.

A happy drunk isn’t ashamed of being drunk.

A mean drunk will never admit to it. Ne - ver.