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What is it to be drunk

L’drunkenness (or thedrunkenness) corresponds to a state of exaltation corresponding to an intellectual and physical excitement, a mood disorder or an incoordination of the movements generally due to a massive ingestion of alcohol (ethanol) or another toxic substance, which can lead toterm an prolonged unconsciousness.

What is it to be drunk

Drunk and unconscious businessman lying on a counter

Alcoholic intoxication is to be distinguished from the drunkenness from the depths with which it is often confused, but which is due to an excess of nitrogen in the tissues.

In everyday language, the term has a broader sense (hybris): it is in particular a question of drunkenness of power, drunkenness of money, intoxication of the game,, since this typical state of excitement is not only linkedto take substances but rather to the production of neurotransmitters (gaba and dopamine, among others for example in the case of alcohol) by the body following the taking of these substances, production which can be induced byOther processes such as strong emotions, dance, trance or fasting, circadian rhythm, a situation that the body deems dangerous …


The term “drunkenness” means more or less acute intoxication due to alcohol ingestion (wines, beers, so -called “strong”) by an individual.

Alcoholic intoxication can be defined according to three phases:

  1. A state of euphoria and excitement characterized by a disinhibition due to a feeling of intellectual ease and/or to the release of imposed social tendencies joining those named instinctive;Disinhibition which can have risks without common measure with the state of the being which experiences it, by giving a significantly erroneous appreciation of the really experienced situation;
  2. The state of drunkenness proper, is identifiable according to the sensito-motor disorders it causes: loss of motor coordination (staggering approach, hesitant and/or incomprehensible, even inconsistent) words.This state is also manifested by clinical signs such as dilated pupils, vomiting or diarrhea;
  3. A lethargic state where it is not uncommon for the person to sleep in sleep.

This lethargic state can sometimes evolve in ethyl coma: the stadium of drunkenness proper is then exceeded and it is then question of acute or sustainable alcoholic poisoning.The stage preceding the ethyl coma is the strong intoxication, a state which can evolve at an ethyl coma at any time.The strong intoxication endangers the life of the person: euphoric, it feels invincible when its capacity for discernment is strongly reduced and that it no longer coordinates its movements well.Consequently, it is essential not to leave a highly alcoholic person alone in order to be able to call for help if necessary, to prevent him from driving or going by bicycle, to prevent any risk of falling and to ensure that no oneDo not abuse his situation of vulnerability (risk of rape).

It is very difficult to give an indication of alcohol dosages that can correspond to these various states, because the doses are very variable according to individuals and according to a large number of other factors: physiological state of the person (Corpulence, anteriority, History), its emotional state, its vital goal, the corroboration of the social atmosphere.

After the drunkenness occurs a state of exhaustion, more or less painful fatigue (on this point, the ingested form of alcoholic substance is not devoid of importance) often colloquially called “wooden mouth”, characterized by a fortSkull evil mainly linked to dehydration of the whole body following this poisoning.After drinking alcohol, you have to drink a lot of water.Indeed, the consumption of ethanol blocks the production of antidiuretic hormone, the production of urine being in fact greater than the water supply.

The symptoms of the “wooden mouth” include:

  • The oral drought colloquially called “pasty mouth”;
  • The headache colloquially called “cap” or “hair evil”;
  • there ;
  • Sensitivity or irritability in light and especially noise.

In Greek mythology, the centaurs symbolize drunkenness, Dionysos is the god of wine festival.Among the Romans, Bacchus is the god of drunkenness.In the orgies that correspond to rites linked to their worship, drunkenness as a mystical path, played an eminent role.The Roman moralists of Antiquity regularly denounce the drunkenness (), individual and punctual practice and drunkenness (), structural behavior likely to refer to group memberships (social, sexual, etc.).The excesses of wine are not always negatively connoted.

Many religions discourage, moderate or prohibit the consumption of ethyl alcohol.Buddhists refrain from consuming alcohol to avoid involuntarily harming others (characteristic of so -called “irresponsible” intoxication: a pretext for alcoholic intoxication to do anything.)

Islam prohibits the consumption of wine and alcohol in general: “They ask you about wine and games of chance.Answer: “In each of them, there is a great sin and some advantages for people;But in both, sin is greater than is usefulness ”” (Sura 2 verse 219).According to its criteria, as in Buddhism, Islam avoids any nuisance likely to achieve the integrity of others, as much as it is.

With the exception of certain neo-Protestant groups, Christian churches do not prohibit alcohol: in reference to Noah and Lot intoxicated, and to the “blood of Christ”, they moderate its use.Excess consumption is considered to be the capital sin of gluttony.In a chapter in 812, Charlemagne prohibits drunkenness to priests.In 1256, limited access to taverns and cabarets to travelers.Nevertheless in medieval and modern times, the municipalities offer wine fountains, a sort of evergetics inherited from Antiquity., follower of neoplatonic thought sees in a mystical mediator.Some doctors (from this time and the middle of the century) recommend the hippocratic principle of getting drunk once a month to restore health by rebalancing moods.A dynamic of high consumption of alcoholic beverages would have been implemented since the end of the Middle Ages in the West, as suggested by the development of legal standards decreed by the authorities on this subject.

In France, civil authorities penalize drunkenness and drunkenness from the century: published on August 31, 1536 an edict in which intoxication became a secondary and intermediate crime, with the penalty of or even banishment in the event of a recurrence.Nevertheless, this unenforceable royal rigor is in the mound in local courts, so it turns to the middle of the century towards indirect convictions: Sanctuarization of Sunday as the Lord’s day with prohibition on the opening of drinking debits, limitation of “joyfulities», Creation of opening hours and closing of drinking debits.White or, sometimes red (Marcel Lachiver recalling the primacy of Clairet wine from the century), wine remains however considered a food and a tonic, like beer whose production becomes almost an industry in the century.According to the historian Roger Dion, a beginning of addiction to wine and to drunkenness was born in France from the reign of Henri IV.Water potability remains problematic.In addition, according to the theory of moods, the digestive system, and in particular the stomach is considered to be the place of cooking, so that doctors recommend consuming, not water (it would turn cooking and thereforedigestion), but wine, and in particular of the hypocras (hence the received idea always relevant which wants digestives to help digest).

From the century with the development of the notion of “honest man”, scholars and philosophers like Pierre Bardin see in drunkenness a “coarse and brutal vice”: it disturbs the judgment of man, demeans it to the rank ofThe animal, creates ruinous expenses for the kingdom and the family, the man going to get drunk in the cabarets or during the days of idleness.At the same time, medical opposition to excess alcohol is developing: doctor Jean Mousin is the first to be interested in this question in Discourse on drunkenness in 1612. This moral condemnation continued in the century even if artists saw in creative intoxication a source of their inspiration (“In Vino Fertilitas) And that wine remains associated with social prestige and rejoicing.Many developed in the century simultaneously with the industrial revolution.Triumphant hygienism of the end of the century is reflected in the law of January 23, 1873 which represses public intoxication and manifest in France.

Among the cultural stereotypes linked to drunkenness, some, of military (Cossacks) or even academic (hazing) consider the ability to drink large quantities of alcohol as a rite of passage or a brand of virility, essentially defined according toMachine criteria.In Western societies, refusing to consume alcohol during a festive atmosphere (bar, evening, etc.) can sometimes be perceived as a way of “breaking the atmosphere”.This attitude can lead to mimicry and lack of determination.Since the end of the century, the phenomenon of “drunken express” (Binge Drinking) appeared.

The liver eliminates alcohol at the rate of 0.1 g/h, only time can reduce the blood alcohol level.

There are many myths and customs relating to how to treat intoxication.Most “grandmother recipes” are ineffective, certain practices are even dangerous.

We will refrain in particular:

  • to cause vomiting in a drunk person (risks of suffocation);
  • to force a drunk person to drink water or eat (risk of suffocation);
  • to have stimulating drinks like tea or coffee (or drinks containing caffeine) ingest to an drunk person: risk of provoking additional dehydration by increasing diuresis (need to urinate);
  • To let a drunk person fall asleep alone (need to be able to call for help in the event of an ethyl coma).

Many countries have legislation that requires regulation of alcohol sales and supply, often including a restriction for people under the age of 16, 18 or 21 depending on the country or for obviously drunk persons.

Many countries have more or less severe legislation suppressing intoxication on the public road, driving or both.

Cannabic intoxication was described by (an alienist) in 1845;Like alcoholic intoxication, it varies depending on the amount of product consumed and the person’s own physiology.

It is defined by four phases:

  1. A state of euphoria leading to disinhibition, a feeling of well-being and empathy;
  2. A confusing state, characterized by a feeling of development of perceptions that can lead to (in case of ingestion) and disturbances of movements and then lead to acute psychoses (Bad trip);
  3. A state of ecstasy characterized by a certain apathy;
  4. A state of return to normal, most often characterized by deep sleep.

The confusion state is often considered to be the stage of intoxication proper.If he degenerates into Bad trip, it is often accompanied by clinical signs like, headache or vomiting.It is then question of acute cannabis poisoning.

If drunkenness results from the absorption of a product, it generally has characteristic signs of the absorbed product.These examples include:

  • Drunkenness to ether and other organic solvents (glue, TIPP-Ex,): characterized by hallucinations and spatio-temporal disturbances bringing a confusion state;
  • drunkenness due to industrial products (oil, carbon disulfide);
  • Muscarinian drunkenness;
  • The intoxication of the depths occurring in scuba diving, when the partial pressure of nitrogen becomes too large, and causing behavioral disorders.
  • Drunkenness in all its states in literature, Proceedings of the international conference organized in Arras by the University of Artois (November 2001), under the direction of Nathalie Peyrebonne and Hélène Barrière, Arras, Presses de l’Artois, 2004.
  • Morphine chocolate – everything you need to know about drugs and you never dared to tell you …, from Andrew Weil and Winifred Rosen, edition of the Lézard.
  • The culture of intoxication – Essay on historical phenomenology, Véronique Nahoum-Grape, walker, 1991.
  • Dizzying of drunkenness – alcohol and social ties, Véronique Nahoum-Grape, Descartes and Cie, 2010.
  • The taste of drunkenness.Drinking in France since the Middle Ages ( – century), Matthieu Lecoutre, Belin, 2017
  • Mark Forsyth, A brief history of drunkenness, Editions du Sonneur, 2020.
  • , Blood alcohol, alcoholic poisoning, wooden mouth
  • Ethanol, alcoholic drink
  • Psychotropic
  • Hybris
  • Drunk monkeys hypothesis