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So there is a perception that alcohol can help to temporarily reduce negative emotions and, consequently, increase feelings of well-being and relaxation. This, in fact, has been considered one of the main reasons for the use of this substance, although it may also be associated with negative emotions such as aggression and depression.

An innovative and interesting article, led by Kathryn Ashton, of Kings College London and published in November 2017 at the British Medical Journal Open, assessed the relationship between different types of alcoholic beverages (beer, wine and distillates) and the emotions triggered by their consumption. There were almost 30 thousand interviewees in 21 countries, among them Brazil, being 66.8% men and 33.2% women, aged between 18 and 34 years. The study used data from the Global Drug Survey, one of the largest online surveys of alcohol and illicit drug use among adults worldwide.

Among the main results of the study, the association of beer and red wine with the sensation of relaxation, reported by about 50% of the respondents, while 30% related the distillate to feelings of aggression and restlessness.

Distillate consumption was also associated with an increased sense of energy and confidence by more than half the respondents. Women reported more frequently all types of emotions after the consumption of any alcoholic beverage, except for the increase in aggressiveness.

Individuals with a higher degree of alcohol dependence associated the consumption of distillates with greater intensity of emotions, be they positive or negative, regardless of the context in which they drank. This observation may reflect a possible quest to fill with alcohol a potential emotional hiatus.

Heavier drinkers, that is, higher scores in the AUDIT (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test), reported negative emotions more often than the moderates, which may be partially explained by drinking more in less time.

This study represents a relevant, if initial, analysis to understand the relationships between perceived emotions and alcohol consumption. Other activities performed during the period of consumption of alcoholic beverages, such as dance, socialization and drug use, may also affect the reported emotions associated with each type of drink.

Therefore, understand the choice of certain types of alcoholic beverages in different contexts can be of great use in the development of public health interventions, either to modify consumption patterns or to reduce the harm caused by harmful use of alcohol, accounting for 5.1% of the global burden of disease. >


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