Hangovers do not deter people from drinking, according to one study

Hangovers move over, I have to drink!

A new study coming out from the University of Missouri has found that getting hangovers after drinking did not serve as a strong predictor of people’s next drinking session. According to the study, “The findings suggest that [a] hangover has, at best, a modest or inconsistent influence on the timing of subsequent alcohol use among frequent drinkers.”

hangover cliff
English! Use English please!

What the study is saying is that hangovers are not consistent predictors of when you are gonna drink next. You would expect that hangovers would make you less likely to drink, because you feel like somebody who just went bungee jumping without a cord. In fact it doesn’t seem to be either, a deterrent, nor motivator to drink.

Basically in a nut shell, hangovers be dammed! If you are gonna drink, you’re gonna drink. If you are not gonna drink, you are not gonna to drink.


There is one small, itty bitty, little problem that this study has. Like much psychological or sociological research that is done, the sample population is a problem.

“Participants were recruited from the Columbia, Missouri community via print advertisements, mass emails and posted flyers. Briefly, participants were required to be 18 or older, report drinking alcohol at least once per week… A total of 404 participants completed at least one diary report.” – Does Hangover Influence the Time to Next Drink? An Investigation Using Ecological Momentary Assessment

Drinking: Then vs. Now

So, college kids are undeterred by hangovers? This seems to be a bit less shocking of a headline. This type of population sampling is common, and it does not completely discredit the research, not by a long shot. But it does limit the ability to apply this information to the rest of the world.

Drinking in college is a very different expedience from drinking as an adult… some of the time. I know that I don’t drink the same way I did back in the day, but I do have friends that are rocking out with their roosters out…

But really the age of the participants, and the highly biased sample population, does not mean that this study cannot be applied to the rest of us. It only means that you cannot claim that this research is definitive proof in all situations, and with all populations, that it will be true. Hangovers ARE not a deterrent for college kids going, and MAY not be a deterrent for the rest of us.

It only suggests that this may be true in other segments of the population as well. So, as always, there needs to be more research done on this subject before we can make further claims.

More research… hooray…(if you have ever done research, you know what I’m talking about!)

Hangovers from now on

At the end of the day, there is a lesson to take away from this. If you are frequently getting hangovers, and then going out and getting drunk again and again, maybe you should find a new way of limiting your alcohol consumption. Because it is most likely that felling like warmed over poop is not gonna stop you.

On a more serious note, this study also betrays the power that alcoholism has. Even if you routinely feel like a crap sandwich after drinking, you are still probably going to keep hitting the bottle.

If you think that this sounds like you, or you are not able to remember if this sounds like you because you are hungover right now, then click here to see if you may need help with alcohol abuse. Remember, there is no shame in alcoholism, many people struggle with the disease.

Long story short, more drinking and more research needs to be done on this subject. Hopefully we will keep these two things separate, or else the lab notes will be very messy.

Best regards,
B.G. Carter

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