In praise of booooze.

' I drink, therefore I can', Prospect Magazine issue 158 May 2009 - Printer Friendly Article

The Colorado study tested the DNA of moderate-to-heavy drinking students to determine whether they had the G-variant gene. They were divided into two groups accordingly, before having alcohol injected directly into the bloodstream (to eliminate differences in absorption rate). Those with the G-variant produced a slightly different version of what is known as the mu-opioid protein, which elicits a stronger response in the brain. As a result they reported stronger feelings of happiness and elation after their shot of alcohol. This initial euphoria is usually followed by a longer state of relaxation, lasting several hours. For those with the G-variant, this period aids the creative process. Perhaps the odd additional tipple might be needed to keep the fire burning, although too much further consumption douses the flames prematurely, inducing lethargy.

The effect of alcohol on this group is not the same as an opiate. The euphoria is much less pronounced than, say, heroin, while alcohol still exerts depressive effects. A drink too many and the soporific effect predominates, overwhelming the endorphins and sending even the G-variant drinker to sleep. This may be why Francis Bacon, by his own admission, worked well after a few drinks, but not when drunk.

The creative effect of alcohol, then, seems to involve a delicate counterpoint between stimulation and relaxation. Unlike some side-effects of drink, such as its tendency to make some people morose or violent, this endorphin release is positive and pleasant to behold. People with this gene variant also seem more prone to alcoholism, perhaps engaging in an increasingly vain pursuit of the highs they used to experience after the first drink or two.

There once was a saying uttered among my friends in younger days, "There ain't nothing I do I can't do better drunk."

Now the saying is more along the lines of, "I need a nap."

The moral? Don't get old. Great link though....