A new study published in the journal Alcohol: Clinical and Experimental Research has found that heavy drinkers are not actually more tolerant to the effects of alcohol than light drinkers. In fact, the study found that heavy drinkers were significantly impaired on cognitive and motor tests up to three hours after downing an alcoholic drink designed to mimic their typical habits.
The study’s lead author, Andrea King, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience at the University of Chicago, said that the findings challenge the common belief that heavy drinkers can “hold their liquor.”
“Our study found that there is some degree of tolerance to alcohol, but it really depends on how much alcohol is consumed, how rapidly and how much time has elapsed since the drinking,” King said. “Heavy drinkers may be able to tolerate more alcohol in the short term, but they are still impaired by it.”
The study’s findings are significant because they suggest that heavy drinking can have a significant impact on cognitive function, even in the short term. This is important because cognitive impairment can lead to a number of problems, including difficulty with work, school, and relationships.
The study also found that heavy drinkers were more likely to engage in risky behaviors, such as driving while intoxicated. This is a serious public health concern, as drunk driving is a leading cause of death and injury.
The study’s findings underscore the importance of moderation when it comes to alcohol consumption. If you are a heavy drinker, it is important to talk to your doctor about how to reduce your drinking and minimize the risks associated with it.