Does Alcohol Make Anyone Violent?

According to recent reports, at least 63 percent of people drink alcohol on at least an occasional basis. Many people have a drink or two to help them relax after a long, difficult day at work.

Some drink to calm their nerves in tense situations or to make interacting with other people a bit less stressful. Regardless of the reasons, people typically drink to take the edge off.

When Alcohol Has an Agitating Impact

Does Alcohol Make Anyone Violent?

In some cases, though, alcohol seems to have the opposite effect. Instead of providing relaxing, calming effects, it appears to make people angry and aggressive. Does alcohol really cause aggressive tendencies, though? Can it really make anyone violent? In truth, the relationship between alcohol and violence is complex, and several factors are involved here. That unpredictability is one of the many dangers of alcoholism.

Lowered Inhibitions

On the most basic level, alcohol is known to lower people’s inhibitions. It makes them act in ways they otherwise wouldn’t and say things they’d ordinarily keep inside. It also makes controlling impulses much more difficult.

That includes instincts to lash out both verbally and physically. As such, it may not make people more violent, but it may make them less capable of keeping their anger and aggression under control.

Poor Judgment

Another factor to consider is alcohol’s notorious ability to bring about poor judgment. People who’ve had quite a bit to drink may choose violence over peace simply because their decision-making abilities have been altered. At the same time, alcohol can cause people to misread certain situations.

A person may say or do something that’s completely innocuous, but someone who’s under the influence of alcohol may see it as aggressive or disrespectful and respond in kind.

Surrounding Circumstances

All the circumstances surrounding a particular situation can also lead to violent behavior when alcohol is involved. When a person is drinking with friends, relaxing, laughing, and having fun, there may be no danger of violence. On the other hand, if that person is surrounded by people who aren’t quite so laid back, a fight could be more likely to take place.

Individual Tolerance Levels

A person’s individual tolerance levels may come into play here as well. Someone with a low tolerance to the effects of alcohol may be jovial after a few drinks but become aggressive after several drinks. Additionally, different types of alcohol have varying impacts on people.

For example, rum may make a person feel relaxed and happy whereas tequila makes that same person angry and violent. Whiskey may take the edge off while vodka makes it sharper.

Does Alcohol Make Anyone Violent?

State of Mind

From another perspective, a person’s state of mind when he or she begins drinking at a given time could influence the effects of alcohol. If a person is simply having a drink to unwind, alcohol may foster those efforts. In the event that person is drinking because he or she is upset or angry, alcohol could exacerbate those feelings. If so, that person could easily become aggressive and violent.

Understanding the Relationship Between Alcohol and Violence

In short, the relationship between alcohol and violence is complicated. Its effects on the brain can make a person more likely to become aggressive while drinking. Furthermore, alcohol lowers people’s inhibitions and leads to poor judgment, both of which can make people more apt to be aggressive.

Beyond that, people’s personal tolerances to different types and amounts of alcohol and their states of mind when drinking can factor into the equation as well. The circumstances surrounding a particular situation can also increase the likelihood of a less-than-peaceful outcome.

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