Opinions - Why does alcohol cause violent behaviour?

Discussion in 'Alcohol' started by Alicia, Mar 18, 2007.

  1. Alicia

    Alicia Gold Member

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    Swia refused to put the title as its kinda obvious really and was all self conscious with been seen to use a silly thread name..
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    http://www.guardian.co.uk/life/thisweek/story/0,,1532304,00.html
    Does alcohol make people violent?

    Thursday July 21, 2005
    The Guardian


    It depends on the person. Home Office statistics published today are expected to show a sharp rise in alcohol-related violent crime. Previous government figures show almost a quarter of assaults occurring in or near pubs and bars, and around half of violent crimes last year were thought to be committed while under the influence.

    While most people aren't violent when drunk, says Klaus Miczek, professor of psychology at Tufts University, Massachusetts, a significant minority are.

    Drunken violence is down to a range of neurological explanations, says Prof Miczek, and it's all down to the complex chemistry of the brain. Brain cells communicate with each other using electrical impulses, but these transmissions are regulated by a number of chemicals called neurotransmitters. Each of these binds to a specific receptor in the brain cell, and it is the behaviour of these receptors that, in some drinkers, is modified even by small amounts of alcohol. Scientists have not yet discovered which part of the receptor is linked with violence, says Prof Miczek.

    Around one in five alcoholics are known as "type 2", says Miczek, and frequently prone to violent behaviour. The brains of type 2 alcoholics often have a different form of a key molecule, which stops the mood-regulating chemical serotonin, from being transported properly.

    So why does alcohol have varying effects on different people's brains? Is it nature or nurture? "Genetics is too glib an answer," says Miczek. "Genes don't cause behaviour, they cause behaviour if they are triggered by a specific experience." Childhood experiences, for example, can have a huge effect in defining which genes actually manifest themselves later in life.

    Robert Patton of the National Addiction Centre says it is not just perpetrators of violence who are affected by alcohol. The same mechanisms that make some people violent make other people take risks: it is not just the perpetrators that are drunk, but often the victims too.
     
    1. 5/5,
      good find
      Mar 20, 2007
  2. El Calico Loco

    El Calico Loco Gold Member

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    I don't think of it in terms of neurotransmitters. I think of it in terms of disinhibition - alcohol brings out who you really are. If there is something ugly beneath a nice facade, it will come out when the person is drunk.

    I had a difficult childhood, and adulthood wasn't much better. Before he used psychedelics, he was a quiet, bitter drunk. You wouldn't have known it from looking at him - he would always smile for a friend - but inside, he was often cynical and upset.

    I am a happy drunk these days. He laughs, tells jokes, and makes good-natured fun of his friends. He introduces himself to complete strangers, something that would have horrified the old Swim. He even gives cigs and dollars to bums.

    A friend of Swim's has some serious trauma in her past. He thinks she was Borderline, or at least damn close. She was a mean drunk - spiteful and venomous. Since trying 2C-E a couple of times, she's calmed down considerably. She still has some issues to deal with, but is much easier to love and nowhere near as nasty when drunk as she once was.

    I don't think alcohol makes people violent. I think alcohol brings the unconscious - call it the inner child, or Jung's shadow - to the surface. In some cases, the shadow is an asshole.


    ECL
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2007
    1. 5/5,
      interesting theory
      Mar 20, 2007
  3. Nagognog2

    Nagognog2 Iridium Member

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    I'd agree with ECL here. Me thinks the good professor from Tufts is looking down the wrong end of the microscope. His argument goes into which came first - the chicken or the egg? Is this missing or lacking in the alcohol drinker who beats up people? Or is this missing/lacking BECAUSE he beats up people?

    Now why did Dick Cheney hoist a few and shoot his lawyer while trying to kill birds? Never mind.....
     
  4. LiLiTH

    LiLiTH Silver Member

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    Hmm interesting topic..
    I don't think alcohol per se makes people violent; but it encourages them in a way or another. Some go and look for sex, others start a fight, etc.
    In Central America for example it's very common that guys show off their 'manhood' having a fight with machetes outside a bar being drunk as hell; I'd say here its a bit cultural that alcohol and violence coexist.
     
  5. El Calico Loco

    El Calico Loco Gold Member

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    I might suggest Antisocial Personality Disorder... but in the case of the neocon revolution, I think it's more complicated than that. I'm not religious, but I think they're in league with The Devil, in a manner of speaking.


    ECL
     
  6. El Calico Loco

    El Calico Loco Gold Member

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    :eek:


    ECL
    (And I thought football fans were bad... :) )
     
  7. DrGonzo

    DrGonzo Silver Member

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    In Vino Veritas. In wine there is truth. Alcohol brings out your true nature. It breaks down inhibitions that usually keep your hidden sides well guarded. Some people have a lot of anger pent up in their heads, and alcohol just opens the floodgates.

    I agree with ECL on this one.
     
  8. Tony Blair

    Tony Blair Newbie

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    I totally disagree.

    Given a long enough time line, and enough alcohol, everyone will turn into an arsehole.
     
  9. Nagognog2

    Nagognog2 Iridium Member

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    I would tend to also disagree: Deep down inside, everyone IS an asshole. Eventually alcohol allows this to surface. BUT this doesn't mean people can't change and have control of the Inner Asshole. Doing such is part of truly growing up. If you show me someone who claims to be a complete pacifist and loving person (implying they are born an angelic-white being better than thou) - I'll show you a walking Time-Bomb! Stay away from those twits.
     
  10. stoneinfocus

    stoneinfocus Silver Member

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    an asshole maybe, but not everyone gets aggressive, ther´s to be some kind of aggression in the first place, that´s comeing up. because something made you aggressive, for whatever reason, wether one´s psycjotic-aggressive towards the "enemies" or has some huge rational aggression against society or a certain person, one might find oneself runnig totally drunk through the streets and damaging things (liek some "friends of I did abnd later told it was swim to the authoroties without swim´s knowledge and swim this stupid idiot felt like covering his "friends" who were just plain, coservative, gay-hating idiiots, that were only out for profit, fucking around and blaming others for it).

    Then again, I wasn´t aggressive when on alcohol, all of the times but once and this for a good reason, an arsehole, he is sometimes, because he looses his sense for the privacy or some soial behaviour, which might seem aggressive, but t´s just a lack of control, whoch in an ovverall manner allows any feeling buried in the person to coem out more easily.
     
  11. El Calico Loco

    El Calico Loco Gold Member

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    Except me. I'm a sweetheart. I'd rather take a punch than throw one. No, really. :)

    But I do agree with your sentiment on angels. Some use "pacifisim" as a euphemisim for "cowardice," and no creature is more dangerous than a cornered, frightened animal.


    ECL
    (Not a pacifist...just hate hurting people.)
     
  12. Spare Chaynge

    Spare Chaynge Palladium Member

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    I had a very difficult lsd expirence where some violent unhappy people stormed the house he was tripping in he ran into a room and pretended to be a box. The point is swim runs from violence with a sick feeling in the gut probally one similar to the poor chap in a clock work orange. When swim drinks his ego comes out and drama happens. swim dosent know what the point of this post was
     
  13. Alicia

    Alicia Gold Member

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    Well. it was a thread i thought was informative and perhaps could cause conversation in relation to the topic. Do you see how that works? other people do the same thing on here too. :D
     
  14. brighteyes88

    brighteyes88 Newbie

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    personally, I dont get violent, in fact the opposite is true.
    he tends to be extremely, perhaps overly, friendly with any newcomers to swims group of friends, or anyone bumping elbows with him at the bar, and feels nauseaus when ppl start being hostile.

    when sober, I am neither pacifist, nor agressive. he takes a while to get started but it does happen.

    on the other hand, swims brother is identical to him while sober, gets extremely violent and impatient when drunk

    i guess my point is that it affects people differently. i therefore conclude that alchahol doesnt make people violent, because i dont get violent.

    away of putting this simply(i tend to be hard to understand, im told)

    ALCHAHOL MAKES PEOPLE VIOLENT - false
    IT MIGHT MAKE CERTAIN PEOPLE VIOLENT IN CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES - true

    the difference being that the first example implies that alchahol is an agression increasing agent full stop.
    which is certainly not the case
     
  15. svenghali

    svenghali Silver Member

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    As has been said before, alcohol disinhibits its user. Emotions are exaggerated when intoxicated, misunderstandings made, etc. People who have violent personalities but do not fight because it is socially unacceptable or for whatever other reason, often decide to fight while intoxicated. Pain is not as pronounced, and wild behavior is usually more exciting after a good dose of alcohol. I am a peaceful person at heart, and has never engaged in a drunken fight, although he has imbibed often and been in situations where two begin to brawl for no reason. It's about the buzz, not swinging fists.
     
  16. ChezNoff

    ChezNoff Newbie

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    I had a mother who tried to kill him at the age of 1, and had been in foster homes until age 2, when his grandparents adopted and raised him. I was never popular in school and was always teased. Swim used to be on an antidepressant called Paxil which is an SSRI (selective serotoin re-uptake inhibitor). I have always been a nice guy. One night swim drank 2 liters of vodka and 5 shots of rum. I went mad and tried to commit suicide. My friends prevented him from doing so. In turn he ran down street barefoot and was tackled down, where he soon after broke out in tears and poured out all of his problems. At the end of the night I had 2 broken toes, and allot of cuts and bruises. The following week I decided to stop taking Paxil, after a month of detox swim fells better, and has since has been drunk a few times with no violent / self-harming side-effects.
     
  17. El Calico Loco

    El Calico Loco Gold Member

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    SSRIs can be dangerous.


    ECL