When people get drunk, they do weird things. Some dance on pool tables, others get giggly then weep. Then, there are those who become angry drunks and take out their pent up frustration on others.
To establish why alcohol can make some people turn aggressive, scientists of the University of New South Wales took MRI scans of the brains of tipsy men. They published their findings in the journal Cognitive, Affective & Behavioral Neuroscience.
The findings confirmed previous speculation that alcohol affects the prefrontal cortex in the brain. The region is associated with social behavior, personality expression, and a number of other functions.
For the study, 50 young men were either given two drinks containing vodka or placebo drinks that did not contain any alcohol. The men then competed in a reaction-time game against an AI component; all the while, researchers monitored changes in their brain activity.
Among the young men who drank and whose aggression had been sparked, there was a notable decline in the activity of the prefrontal cortex. As IFLScience reports, this means the men were not putting much energy into dealing with social cues. This led them to behave with fewer inhibitions.
Said lead author, Thomas Denson, in a statement:
“Although there was an overall dampening effect of alcohol on the prefrontal cortex, even at a low dose of alcohol we observed a significant positive relationship between dorsomedial and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex activity and alcohol-related aggression. These regions may support different behaviors, such as peace versus aggression, depending on whether a person is sober or intoxicated.
“We encourage future, larger-scale investigations into the neural underpinnings of alcohol-related aggression with stronger doses and clinical samples. Doing so could eventually substantially reduce alcohol-related harm.”
Alcohol vs Marijuana
Alcohol has a reputation for fueling violent offenses, including sexual assault, robbery, child abuse, and homicide. Once again, scientists have confirmed that it dampens inhibitions, leading people to act in a more aggressive manner.
Why is this substance easily available to all above 21 years of age in the United States and most countries, when the marijuana plant, a natural substance, is prohibited by nearly all? There are 0 cases of cannabis overdose in the world; yet, every year in the United States, approximately 88,000 people die from alcohol poisoning.
Finally, people who consume the marijuana plant are prone to peaceful action. The same cannot be said for people who consume alcohol. While it should be a human being’s right to determine which substance they would like to partake in, the government can not ignore that the prohibited substance would be a much healthier vice for the populace.
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