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Alcohol Alert

Why Some People Have Weak 'Brakes' On Rage

Why are some people more inclined to drink rage than others? Psychiatrists said it could be that these individuals are biologically more prone to anger and aggression. That, coupled with alcohol, could wreak havoc. Dr Andrew, consultant psychiatrist, said: "Alcohol does two things to a person. It dissolves moral constraints and social inhibitions. Secondly, it diminishes judgement. "The other factor is peer power." Anger and aggression are innate human tendencies, he said.

While most of us go through life with inhibitions, such as thinking of the correct things to say and do, alcohol removes those inhibitions. Dr Andrew said: "Normally, people have control over their anger, but alcohol impairs that control. You can become more chatty, confident, and for some, more prone to eruption. "With less inhibitions, people can become very angry and irritated over something trivial because they don't want to lose face. These are ingredients for making pub fights."

There can be a variety of reasons why people get involved in brawls, which sometimes lead to death. Dr Calvin, chief of psychological medicine said that while anger and aggression are basic human traits, some people are biologically more prone to them. "Everyone is prone to these, but most of us will have the brakes to make sure they are expressed appropriately without breaking laws or conventions," he said.

But for some people, "the brakes" are somewhat lacking. Dr Pones said: "When alcohol or drugs are involved with these individuals, it can make the brakes less effective and so, they are more likely to act on the anger. "in our heads, we may have taken out our auger on our bosses a number of times but in reality we don't actually do it." These individuals, he added, may have psychopathic personalities. That is, they have a lower regard for societal conventions and rules.

Only Way To Get Things Done

A psychopathic personality is a combination of inborn genetic traits and early family and childhood development influences. Dr Fones said: "Usually, they come from troubled families. "They grow up in an environment where violence and aggression are. common, so they feel that it's the only way to get things done." A combination of these biological and socio-cultural factors can lead to a less developed conscience.

He said: "Conscience is learnt. It is socially and culturally inculcated." Another possible explanation for drink rage would be a displacement of anger. For example, Dr Fones said: "If you're stressed at work or angry with the boss. but you can't express that anger at him, you may take it out on someone else." But he added that usually these people would express their anger and aggression at home instead, rather than on strangers.

However, there is a smaller group with poor impulse control as well. Consultant psychiatrist, Dr Daniel, said there is part of the brain that regulates emotions. "If this part is overactive, some people may find they can't control their anger and it can turn to rage," he said. When rage takes over, the result can be disastrous and even deadly.

Watching Your Alcohol Intake? Check Your Glass

People tend to pour more alcohol into short, wide glasses than tall, narrow ones, a new study suggest. Cornell University researchers asked 195 students and 86 bartenders to pour a short of alcohol. They found students poured 30 per cent more alcohol into the short glasses than the tall ones. Experienced bartenders faired only slightly better at 20 per cent. Lead researcher Brian Wansink said tall glasses or glasses on which the alcohol level is marked should be used to control alcohol consumption.

Alcohol Can Damage Your Bones

Many people are aware of the damage excessive drinking can inflict on the liver, but few know of its effect on their bones. Some studies suggest that moderate drinking may help protect bone mass. But Dr. Dennis Chakkalakal of the Omaha Medical Centre in Nebraska reports that heavy drinking inhibits the formation of new bone and leads to bone loss, a higher risk of fractures and a slower healing of broken bones.

Moreover, though most studies have defined "heavy" drinking as at least six drinks a day, the review points out there's evidence that bone loss is a risk even for people who have closer to three drinks a day.

Hangover Cures Don't Work

Having a hangover? Don't bother with aspirin, raw eggs or herbal concoctions. A team from the Peninsula Medical School examined medical treatment for preventing or treating hangovers, and concluded that "no compelling evidence exists to suggest that any conventional or complementary intervention is effective for preventing or treating alcohol hangover." Their advise? - Practice abstinence or moderation.

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