Tag Archives: alcohol

How progressive! Vox’s Dylan Matthews committed as ever to screwing the working class

She Was Supposed To Watch This Baby. Instead, She Left Her Alone In A Park Overnight

Having a drink or two can be a simple way to put your daily stresses behind you and relax.

While there’s nothing wrong with an occasional drink, when your drinking interferes with your daily responsibilities, that’s when the real trouble starts. When this woman from Blackpool, England, put her own inebriation above her duties as a babysitter, she put a child’s life in danger.

When 44-year-old Julie Gill was supposed to be looking after a friend’s tiny baby, she began a night of binge drinking across the tiny resort town.

The night started with Gill at home drinking vodka before going out to a local pub to meet a friend. The two eventually left and continued on to a club a few blocks away. Gill carted the baby with her to the bars in her stroller.

Gill allegedly left the club around midnight but did not arrive home until almost 4 a.m. In a moment of inebriation, the woman pounded on a neighbor’s door because she could not find her house keys. The baby was nowhere in sight.

This Guy REALLY Wanted To Get Into This Pub, But His Shoes Didn’t Fit The Dress Code

Back in my college days, I was super committed to my favorite pub. I’d arrive early to get a seat on game days and stay late to keep the bartenders company. What this Irish guy did, though, deserves a round of applause.

Recently, Ruaírí Brannigan went to his favorite pub to get a drink, but there was one problem: His sandals weren’t up to dress code. So, Brannigan did what any logical person would do and bought the only pair of shoes he found in his size at a nearby shop. They happened to be women’s flats, but does that really matter when you need a drink?

An Sibin Irish Pub posted this picture of Brannigan in his brand-new shoes. I don’t know about you, but I think he looks absolutely fabulous!

Read More: Watch This YouTube Prankster Use Magic To Trick His Sweet Grandmother

Cheers, Brannigan! We salute your dedication. Do you have a friend who would do anything for a drink? If so, be sure to share this hilarious story with them!

Next Time Your Friend Tries To Be A Wine Snob, Tell Them About These Experiments

I’ll never forget the day when I sat down to watch a documentary and was verbally assaulted with this statement: “This wine has notes of tennis ball and garden hose.”

That is (a paraphrased version of) an actual sentence uttered by an insufferable snob from a film called “Somm.” I know that everyone has their thing, but watching grown-ass adults talking about the base notes in wine in comparison to garden tools for hours on end felt like a form of punishment.

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And since I’m a glutton for the stuff, I tuned in until the end. Don’t get me wrong. I love wine. Most people love wine, but sommeliers are known the world over for being the most hardcore winos of all.

But are they really onto something with all that sniffing, spitting, comparison-making insanity? If you ask some researchers, probably not.

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According to one decidedly unenthused announcer from Freakonomics Radio, “Wine experts should just put a cork in it.”

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Why, you ask? Aside from opening up the possibility of making any friends ever, sommeliers should probably just throw in the towel for the sake of not lying professionally.

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“This wine has notes of oak, wet grass, and a lifetime without friendship.”

Call me unrefined, but something tells me that there is no possible way that one could tell the month and year in which a particular wine was bottled. To be fair, I once bought a wine called BearBoat solely because the label was stamped with an adorable bear sitting in a boat. I may not be the best judge here.

So without getting into formal wine-tasting jargon, let’s take a look at a few experiments run by the likes of Harvard economists and California vintners.

1. The Harvard Setup

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When Steven D. Levitt was a burgeoning economist at Harvard, he was asked to join a prestigious society filled to the brim with scholars and Nobel Prize recipients called the Society of Fellows. Fancy.

Levitt, who happened to have a taste for grape soda and beef jerky at the time, was a little peeved with the fact that he was paying a ton before each meal to make up for the absolutely insane amount of money the group spent on fine wine.

When he suggested that those who didn’t enjoy guzzling $300 wine pay less, his smarmy buddies turned up their pinot-sniffing noses. To retaliate in the most Harvard way possible, he conducted a little experiment.

When their next wine-tasting event rolled around, he had some tricks up his sleeve.

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With a little help from a wine steward, he purchased two bottles of wine that were close to $100 each. After that, he bought a bottle that his buddies would likely call “swill.” It was $8.

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He poured the two expensive wines into their own decanters. He filled a third decanter with the cheap wine and repeated one of the expensive vintages in the fourth.

The four wines received similar ratings from the panel. What’s more is that the ratings on the two decanters filled with the same wine showed greater disparity than ratings between decanters that contained totally different wines. I’d call that a win, folks. Needless to say, no one in the Society of Fellows was pleased to hear that they’d been duped.

2. The Vintner Victory

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One winemaker by the name of Robert Hodgson was getting all kinds of annoyed with the inconsistencies he faced when he sent his best bottles off to competitions.

Because he happens to have a background in statistics, he put judges at the California State Fair to the test. He presented them with a flight of four wines, three of which were the same one poured from a single bottle. The results made the judges’ inconsistencies blatantly obvious, since the exact same wine was often judged differently by the same people. Fun!

Because I ruin everything in real life, I love TruTV’s “Adam Ruins Everything.” To hear Adam Conover’s take on wine snobbery, check this out.

You know what? I’m going to drink my cheap wine proudly. Next time your wine snob friend decides to go from zero to infuriating real quick, smile as you drink your swill knowing that they wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

Pot Is 114 Times Safer Than Alcohol, A New Study Says

By one metric.

1. A new study reaffirms the common claim that marijuana could be safer than a host of other drugs, including alcohol and tobacco.

Andres Stapff / Reuters

In a January article published in Scientific Reports, researchers analyzed existing data on the number of deaths from each drug and how often each is used to reach their conclusions.

2. They found alcohol is about 114 times more deadly than pot, according to the Washington Post‘s math.

To get that figure, they took what’s called the effective dose of a drug, which is the minimum dose it takes someone to feel its effects. Then, they took the lethal dose of the same drug, which is how much people typically die from. Dividing the lethal dose by the effective dose gets what’s called a safety margin, which scientists use to compare the relative safety of drugs.

The higher the number, the more of a drug it’d take to kill you.

3. The study even goes so far as to advocate for the legalization of marijuana.

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Their findings “suggest a strict legal regulatory approach rather than the current prohibition approach.”

4. But be warned: The data is subject to change as the number of users fluctuates.

As more states legalize pot medically and recreationally, we might see a spike in the number of smokers. Increased exposure to marijuana has the potential to alter the statistics about how dangerous it is.

“This is very heavily dependent on the prevalence of use in the population,” University at Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions Director Kenneth Leonard told BuzzFeed News.

Lead study author Dirk Lachenmeier also stressed that the data is subject to change with consumption patterns.

5. Scientists don’t yet have good data on marijuana’s long-term effects.

Steve Dipaola / Reuters

The Scientific Reports study focuses on the effects of taking drugs on a day-to-day basis, rather than what could happen in the long term. It’s clear that marijuana is incredibly safe in this regard: Someone who injects heroin, a drug included in the study, could possibly die of an overdose from just one use. By contrast, someone who smokes pot once may not experience any effects at all.

But scientists say more research must be done on marijuana’s potential long-term impact on people who smoke or ingest it regularly.

“There is evidence that it relates to some changes in the brain that may impair memory, and that that is particularly the case if it’s used regularly among people who are younger,” Leonard said. “We don’t really know as well about people who are older. Regular frequent use does seem to be associated with intellectual impairments.”

6. Like any drug, marijuana’s safety hinges on how it’s used.

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It’s largely true that marijuana isn’t associated with overdoses, but Claremont University emeritus professor Robert Gable, who has researched marijuana use extensively, cautions that anything can be hazardous if used improperly.

“Let’s just say the safety depends upon somebody acting rationally, only one drug in the proper route, and not mixing it with other substances,” Gable told BuzzFeed News. “Marijuana is exceedingly safe by all normal toxicity measures.”

14 Common Medicines You REALLY Shouldn’t Mix With Alcohol

You do like having a functioning liver, right?

  1. Quick little totally unscientific poll here: Have you ever had an alcoholic beverage (or several) while taking antibiotics?

    1. Of course not — I’m no fool!
    2. I know I shouldn’t… but yeah, of course I have.
    3. Wait, what? Is that bad or something?

14 Common Medicines You REALLY Shouldn’t Mix With Alcohol

SHARE YOUR VOTE!

  1. And what about alcohol and Tylenol?

    1. Yes, because I hate hangovers.
    2. No, because I love my liver.

14 Common Medicines You REALLY Shouldn’t Mix With Alcohol

SHARE YOUR VOTE!

If you answered yes to either of those questions… you’re not alone. And that’s definitely a bad thing.

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New research from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) looked at data from a nationally representative survey, and found that about 42% of Americans admit to drinking alcohol and also taking prescription medications that can negatively interact with alcohol. The research doesn’t show that those 42% of the people drank alcohol WHILE taking prescription meds, but it’s a decent way to frame the scope of the issue.

The problem is that mixing alcohol with many common medications can have surprisingly dangerous and awful side effects.

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More than you might even know about. Liver problems. Difficulty breathing. Confusion and dizziness. Even overdose and death in some cases. Serious stuff here.

Obviously these interactions don’t happen every time to every person who accidentally drinks while taking a medication… but depending on your general health, your liver function, and other variables, these side effects could potentially impact anyone. In other words: Do not drink alcohol if you are also taking medicine that can interact with it. Better safe than sorry.

One way to gauge your risk: “The more often you drink alcohol, the more likely you are to have an interaction with a medication,” study co-author Aaron White, Ph.D., a neuroscientist with the division of epidemiology and prevention research at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), tells BuzzFeed Life. “You can look at it the opposite way too: The more often you take medication, the more likely you are to have it interact with alcohol.”

This latter point is especially an issue for senior citizens, the study authors say. “As we age we develop more chronic diseases, so we take more medications,” co-author Rosalind Breslow, Ph.D., an epidemiologist with the division of epidemiology and prevention research at the NIAAA, tells BuzzFeed Life. “The potential for interaction goes up, and liver function — your ability to metabolize alcohol and other drugs — goes down.”

And here’s another thing: Medications can last in your system a lot longer than you might think.

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“Just because you take the medication on Monday doesn’t mean it’s out of your body by Tuesday,” White says.

One way to tell how long a medication sticks around in your system is to go to the manufacturer’s website and look for the half-life of the drug. If a drug has a half-life of 24 hours, for instance, then after 24 hours it will be half out of your system; after 48 hours another half of the remaining amount will be gone (leaving a quarter of it left); after 72 hours another half will be gone (leaving an eighth left)…and so on.

“It really takes at least five half-lives before something’s out of your system,” White says.

Here are 14 examples of super common types of medications that can have very dangerous reactions with alcohol, as well as what might happen if you do mix them.

This information comes straight from this incredibly helpful NIAAA fact sheet about alcohol and medication interactions.

Worth noting: These drugs definitely aren’t the only ones that can mess you up when mixed with alcohol — they’re just common examples. See the NIAAA’s fact sheet for even more examples (though even that isn’t a comprehensive list). And always, always talk to your doctor and check a new medication’s label before taking it, to know whether mixing with alcohol is a problem, and if it’s a particular issue for you specifically based on your medical history.

1. OTC pain and fever meds

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Medicines: Tylenol, Advil, Aleve, Excedrin, Motrin, and more.

What might happen: If you mix alcohol and acetaminophen (Tylenol), it can cause liver damage — seriously, do not do this. From Tylenol’s website: “Severe liver damage may occur if you take 3 or more alcoholic drinks every day while using this product.” That being said, Tylenol on its own can cause some level of liver damage for certain people (especially if you’re taking more than you should be, or if you’ve inadvertently taken Tylenol at the same time as taking another medication with acetaminophen in it). Even one drink can make that damage worse.

For all of these OTC pain drugs, mixing with alcohol brings on some risk of upset stomach, bleeding and ulcers, and rapid heartbeat. According to the FDA, your risk for stomach bleeding with NSAIDs — non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofin (Motrin, Advil), naproxen (Aleve) — goes up if you drink more than three drinks a day while taking them. Excedrin contains both acetaminophen and aspirin, for the record.

2. Prescription pain meds

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Medicines: Demerol, Percocet, Vicodin, and more.

What might happen: Well, you could die. According to the NIH, “Alcohol […] can make the side effects of meperidine [Demerol] worse and can cause serious harm or death.” For both Percocet (oxycodone) and Vicodin (hydrocodone), the NIH says: “Drinking alcohol […] increases the risk that you will experience serious, life-threatening side effects.” You may be noticing a pattern here.

According to the NIAAA fact sheet, mixing these drugs with alcohol may also make you feel drowsy and dizzy, as well as experience slowed or difficult breathing, impaired motor control, unusual behavior, and problems with your memory.

3. Allergy and cold & flu meds

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Medicines: Benadryl, Claritin, Claritin-D, Dimetapp, Zyrtec, Sudafed Sinus and Allergy, Tylenol Allergy Sinus, Tylenol Cold & Flu, and more.

What might happen: Drinking alcohol while you’re taking any of these “can add to the drowsiness” that these medications cause in the first place, according to the NIH. And any of the medications that contain acetaminophen (found in Tylenol) can have all the same liver-wrecking side effects that drinking with straight Tylenol might have.

4. Cough meds

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Medicines: Robitussin Cough, Robitussin A-C, and more.

What might happen: You may feel drowsy or dizzy, and if you’re taking a cough syrup with codeine, you can experience “serious or life-threatening side effects,” according to the NIH.

5. Antibiotics

Adam Kuban / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: slice

Medicines: Zithromax (think Z-Paks!), Flagyl, Nizoral, and more.

What might happen: According to the NIAAA fact sheet, for the antibiotics listed above you might experience a fast heartbeat and sudden changes in your blood pressure. Also stomach pain, vomiting, headache, and liver damage (with the Nizoral).

The U.K.’s National Health Service goes into much greater detail about this issue. It clarifies that while numerous antibiotics don’t interact dangerously with alcohol, some (like the ones in the NIAAA fact sheet) absolutely do. It also says that alcohol can make common unpleasant symptoms of antibiotics (upset stomach, dizziness, and so on) worse. You should talk to your doctor about it any time you get prescribed an antibiotic, just to be sure.

That being said, according to an expert writing for the Mayo Clinic, alcohol can reduce your energy and make you take longer to recover from whatever is making you sick in the first place. So even if the alcohol doesn’t have an obvious or direct interaction with the antibiotic you’re taking… it’s still best to lay off the booze while you’re getting treatment.

6. Anxiety meds

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Medicines: Ativan, Klonopin, Paxil, Valium, Xanax, and more.

What might happen: According to the NIAAA fact sheet, you could feel drowsy and dizzy, and there’s a potential risk for overdose. You may also have slowed breathing, difficulty breathing, impaired motor control, strange behavior, and memory problems.

7. Depression meds

gloom / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: gloom

Medicines: Abilify, Celexa, Cymbalta, Effexor, Lexapro, Paxil, Prozac, Wellbutrin, Zoloft, St. John’s Wort, Seroquel, Remeron, Pamate, Nardil, and more.

What might happen: Hooo boy. For all of them, you may feel drowsy, dizzy, and could up your risk of overdose. You also might feel depression and hopelessness.

Specific meds can have specifically terrible results. For instance:
– Mixing alcohol with Seroquel or Remeron can make you have impaired motor control.
– Mixing alcohol with Wellbutrin can make you significantly more sensitive to alcohol.
– Mixing alcohol with Cymbalta can cause liver damage.
– And mixing alcohol with a class of antidepressants called Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), such as Pamate and Nardil, can really mess with your heart. And MAOIs can cause your blood pressure to get dangerously high when you mix it with a byproduct in beer and wine.

8. Attention and concentration meds

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Medicines: Adderall, Concerta, Ritalin, Vyvanse, Focalin, Dexdrine Strattera, and more.

What might happen: You’ll feel dizzy and drowsy. Also, some of the symptoms are drug-dependent:
– Mixing alcohol with Concerta, Ritalin, or Focalin can hurt your ability to concentrate.
– Mixing alcohol with Adderall, Dexedrine, or Vyvanse can increase your risk for heart problems.
– Mixing alcohol with Strattera can cause liver damage.

9. Heartburn meds

Medicines: Reglan, Zantac, and more.

What might happen: Your heartbeat might race, and you’ll have a way lower tolerance for alcohol. With Reglan, you can also impact your blood pressure.

10. Sleep meds

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Medicines: Ambien, Lunesta, Sominex, herbal supplements (like chamomile, valerian, lavender), and more.

What might happen: All the usual stuff: You’ll feel drowsy, dizzy, and sleepy, and it might become hard to breathe. You’ll also potentially experience impaired motor control, strange behavior, and trouble remembering things. According to the NIH, alcohol can make the typical side effects of sleep meds worse.

11. Blood pressure meds

Medicines: Lopressor HCT, Lotensin, Norvasc, Losartan, and more.

What might happen: You may feel dizzy, drowsy, or faint. You can also develop heart problems, like an arrhythmia.

12. Diabetes meds

Medicines: Glucotrol, Glynase, Micronase, Diabinese, and more.

What might happen: Drinking while taking any of these (and more) medicines to help control your diabetes can cause your blood sugar levels to fall to dangerously low levels. It can also give you a “flushing reaction” that involves nausea, vomiting, blood pressure issues, headaches, and a racing heartbeat.

13. Blood clot meds

Medicines: Coumadin

What might happen: Internal bleeding, for starters. And with heavy drinking, you could actually suffer from blood clots, stroke, or heart attack.

14. Cholesterol meds

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Medicines: Lipitor, Crestor, Niaspan, Zocor, Vytorin, Pravigard, and many more.

What might happen: All of the medicines can cause liver damage. With Niaspan you might suffer from flushing and itching; with Pravigard you could increase your chances of stomach bleeding.

And many more.

The medicines listed as examples on this list don’t even make up the half of it. Check out the NIAAA fact sheet to see even more examples of medications that interact poorly with alcohol.

This includes medicines mentioned above, plus medications that treat issues like angina, coronary heart disease, epilepsy, arthritis, enlarged prostate, mood stabilizers, motion sickness and nausea, seizures, and more.

Bottom line: Talk to your doctor. And when in doubt… don’t drink while you’re taking medicine, just to be safe.

One last thing…

Breslow says that NIAAA guidelines recommend that women shouldn’t drink more than three alcoholic beverages a day, and no more than seven per week. Men shouldn’t drink more than four alcoholic drinks a day, and no more than 14 per week.

This Is What Happens When You Let An Old Bottle Of Vermouth Sit For 80 Years

When you forget about an old bottle of something way up in the cupboard, the results are usually less than pleasant. But if you’re lucky, you’ll sometimes come across something that’s creepily beautiful in its fermentation.

Redditor mvv_10 found this old bottle of vermouth (an Italian liquor) hidden away in the cupboard of his grandparents’ house.

Judging by the looks of it, that bottle is probably older than he is.

This is what the inside of the bottle looked like when he pulled it down off of the shelf.

It looks like the fermented liquor eventually solidified into layers of material.

Turning it on its side, you can see each of the fermented layers.

Not that I would drink it (or eat it at this point), but you can bet that this is probably close to 100 percent alcohol. Just saying.

(source: Reddit)

So do you just throw it out, or do you wait and keep fermenting it to see what happens? I’m not sure which option would be less gross.

14 Valentine’s Day Cards From Your One True Love

I’m drinking of you.

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Literally.

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This Raccoon Was Clearly Going Through Some Stuff When They Found Him…

We all have those nights — you drink one beer, but that’s not enough to forget about your horrible day at the office…so you drink another (or five).

When some beer warehouse workers found this raccoon, it was was pretty clear that he was going through some serious stuff. Watch as he drunkenly moseys over to the humans he thinks are his drinking buddies, before realizing, “Oh right, I’m a raccoon…and I’m drunk.”

This raccoon is all of us…

Go home, raccoon! You’re drunk!

Talk about a party animal. I’d really hate (or love?) to see his face when he wakes up hungover and finds out his blackout went viral. Hopefully, someone threw some Aspirin in the trash…