Drunk people always speak the truth

You have probably heard the saying 'drunk people and children always speak the truth'. This thought, that we tell the truth with a big gulp, has been around for centuries. This is how the Romans had the pronunciation for this 'in vino veritas'; the truth is in the wine. Time to find out the truth of this statement.

It is clear that alcohol has an effect on your brain. This is how it works: when you drink alcohol, parts of your brain work more slowly or less well. This will give you poorer motor skills (think of the winding walk) and you will see and hear less (with the result that you are suddenly talking very loudly into your neighbor's ear at a party). Furthermore, alcohol has a disinhibiting effect, so that you dare to say or do things that you would not otherwise do. You have less control over yourself and your emotions. This, coupled with the fact that alcohol affects your judgment and memory functions, means that when you're drunk, you can suddenly say things that you later regret.

Regret or not, the question that remains is: were you speaking the truth in your drunken mood, or were you not quite yourself?

The effects of alcohol

When you drink alcohol, it reaches your brain within ten minutes. In your brain, messages are constantly being transferred between brain cells (neurons). Neurotransmitters are the substances that transmit these messages. There are many different neurotransmitters, but in this case GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) and glutamate are especially important. Alcohol throws these two neurotransmitters out of balance. For example, alcohol stimulates the action of GABA, the main inhibitory neurotransmitter, and alcohol inhibits the action of glutamate, the main stimulatory neurotransmitter. In both cases, the effect is that the brain becomes less active. Alcohol mainly has a narcotic effect.

Because GABA in particular is located in all parts of the brain, alcohol has an effect on all brain functions. In this way you can suppress worse tendencies under the influence: you become more impulsive. Where you would normally think for a while, now you say the first thing that comes to mind. You also get more trouble with tunnel vision (you dive into the discussion with full dedication) and you feel less fear. This makes it easier for you to deal with risky situations. At the same time, you are less able to oversee the consequences of your behavior. So when you decide to tell your boyfriend in the bar what you really think of his new girlfriend, you pay less attention to the consequences of your candor.

Release all brakes

Alcohol ensures that fewer stimuli are transmitted and that has a sedating effect. Also on the part of the brain that regulates our logical thinking, thinking ahead, our self-control and our social functioning. Inhibitions fall away and the chance of impulsive actions increases. But does this also mean that the truth is at the bottom of the wine glass?

Is alcohol a truth serum or not?

Yes and no. On the one hand, it's true that alcohol loosens you up and makes you blurt out your thoughts and emotions more easily. On the other hand, alcohol has such an impact on all parts of our brain that the way your brain works is completely different. As a result, you are literally not who you normally are.

If the wine is in the man….

Did something happen between you and someone who had clearly looked too deep into the glass? Then talk about it the next day. Chances are he didn't mean it that way. Conversely, you may also have regretted things you said afterwards. In that case, the best remedy is to offer your sincere apologies. For most people, such an incident is also a sign to stick to spa red for the time being. Because while you can't be held entirely responsible for every statement you make while under the influence, you are still in control of how often and how much you drink.






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