What Is the Link Between Hard Liquor and Aggression or Anger?
Drinking distilled spirits can often be associated with aggressive behavior, and within the United States, alcohol, in general, can be linked to half of all the murders, rapes, and assaults. For example, some of the statistics surrounding university and college campuses were collected by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. These different statistics showed that close to 700,000 students in 2015 between the ages of 18 and 24 were assaulted by someone who had been drinking. Roughly 97,000 students that same year reported an alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape. It is not just simply hard liquor that causes this aggressive behavior, it is the combination of ethyl-alcohol that is found in beer, wine, and spirits; and the individual's personality traits also contribute. Aggressive behavior is an outlet for anger, and because alcohol will lower your inhibitions, decision making, and judgment, aggressive behavior will occur. Someone who is generally always angry will look for a reason to let this anger out, and unfortunately, many turn to stimulants such as alcohol to achieve this. For example, aggressive behavior among alcoholics who are men is a common problem overall. Alcohol will bring out all the emotions that someone has, whether they are negative or positive emotions. Unfortunately, such things as alcohol and domestic violence are common throughout the United States. If someone is already in a rough relationship, and one of the two is drinking excessively, alcohol will tend to just 'turn up the volume' and will cause the aggression or sadness to be amplified.
Essentially it does not matter what type of alcohol is consumed, yet there is a stereotype attached to hard liquor and aggressive behavior. Much of this can be explained because the alcohol by volume is higher within distilled spirits, causing intoxication to often happen faster. Hard liquor is typically consumed quicker, and because of the increased alcohol by volume, the effects are felt faster. However, this does not stop people from believing certain types of hard liquor will induce distinct emotions. Alcohol is alcohol, an 80-proof tequila is no different from an 80-proof whiskey, gin, rum or vodka, and the only things that separate hard liquors is that it is a more efficient delivery system for the alcohol. One explanation for this is the way in which hard liquors are consumed; tequila, for example, is often drunk straight, with no mixer, whereas rum may be mixed with soda, or vodka may be consumed with a caffeinated drink. Alcohol still enters the bloodstream through the stomach linings, mixers with sugar in them will slow down the absorption of alcohol, while caffeine is a stimulant and will inhibit the sedative effects of alcohol. The liver can only process a certain amount of alcohol at a time, with the remainder being built up in the body until it has a chance to be filtered out. Psychologically, if a person genuinely feels that a certain type of alcohol will make them feel a certain way, they will more than likely make that happen. These are alcohol-related beliefs or what is expected of alcohol when someone drinks it. For example, a kid grows up watching their parents sitting around relaxing drinking beer and will directly associate beer with being relaxed. The same can be said with hard liquor, a child grows up watching their parents or someone they know become rowdy and rambunctious while drinking tequila, and the association is then made. Yet no matter what the drink the active ingredient will always be ethanol (alcohol) and it always enters the bloodstream the same way, causing intoxication.