Does Alcohol Change Personalities?


When you drink to excess and become intoxicated then you can suddenly seem like a different person, more aggressive or amicable, impulsive, or irritable.

Why are there different types of drunks? Why does alcohol change our personalities? And why is it such a drastic change for some in character/ behaviour?

When you first take a drink, your brain gets flooded with dopamine making you feel happy and like you are the life and soul of the party.

BUT……. drinking more makes your brain overcompensate for the rush of dopamine in its attempt to restore the balance.

This can make you shake and slur your speech, or it can make you angry and full of rage wanting to flex your ‘alcohol muscles’ with your drunken personality reacting to the slightest thing and imagined threats and ready to fight anyone and everyone.

Drink large amounts of alcohol often enough and it will start to change your behaviour and personality.

 To investigate how our personalities change when we drink, University of Missouri psychology researchers studied 374 undergraduates. They identified four unique personas that emerge when drinking.

The Hemingway

Named after renowned author and well-known heavy drinker Ernest Hemingway About 40% of drinkers are those that behave the same while intoxicated as they do while sober.

Sadly, because of their strong tolerance for alcohol, the Hemingways among us are more likely to develop alcoholism.

This is not surprising given that Ernest Hemingway was a well-known alcoholic, there’s even a drink named for him, the Hemingway daiquiri or Papa Doble! (Sorry no alternative yet in our mocktails recipes section.)

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The Mary Poppins

People with Poppins personalities are already amiable and outgoing but become much more so when they drink.

The only difference for Poppins types is that they become more outgoing; otherwise, their intoxicated personality is just a more exuberant version of their already cheerful personality.

These are the elusive “happy” drunks, BUT they are not immune to the drawbacks of binge drinking.

The Nutty Professors

Those of us with a bizarre personality tend to change the most while intoxicated. They become considerably less restrained.

Nutty Professors are the most likely of the four types to be naturally shy people who become outgoing when intoxicated, which makes their metamorphosis more obvious.

They exhibit the most pronounced declines in agreeableness and conscientiousness and become extremely outgoing.


The Mr. Hydes

An individual with the “Mr. Hyde” drinking personality overconsumes alcohol, becomes inebriated, and then behaves completely irrationally.

This person frequently has a foul disposition and may be combative. They tend to be noisy and obnoxious and frequently drink alone in public places.

This personality is more prone to act aggressively, pick fights, and get arrested for incidents involving alcohol.

 It’s critical to recognise the limitations of the study that gave rise to these four drunken personalities.

The sample group was small and consisted mostly of white American college students, it is debatable how these results may be applied to the general population.

 If you need help or guidance to begin or stay on your own journey to remove the fog and take those steps into sobriety, then check out our website and other blogs for articles and advice on how you to stay strong and stop anyone else from bursting your Sober Bubble.

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