Science Says This One Thing Is Causing You To Be An Angry Drunk

by Gillian Fuller

If you turn into a raging assh*le when you're drunk, it might not be (entirely) your fault.

Researchers from Finland recently interviewed more than 150 people in an effort to determine what makes some people happy drunks and others angry (or sad) drunks.

They found that those with alcoholic tendencies and certain personality traits were likely to carry a genetic mutation called HTR2B Q20. Individuals with this mutation, the researchers determined, were prone to angry outbursts while drinking, while those without it tended to be happier drunks.

According to Dr. Rope Tikkanen, the author of the study, carriers of the HTR2B Q20 gene are usually more impulsive than those who don't carry the gene. It all has to do with the way the brain processes alcohol: Most people have dozens of neuroreceptors that, when stimulated by alcohol, release high levels of the feel-good chemical dopamine. Those with the HTR2B Q20 mutation, however, have less of these receptors — so while their inhibitions may be lowered by alcohol, they don't get "high" in the way some people do.

As the researchers note, it's unclear what external factors cause drunken, angry behavior, and the amount of alcohol needed to "flip the switch," so to speak, varies from person to person.

Bottom line: If you act like an assh*le when you're drunk, or have trouble controlling yourself and your behavior, you may want to ease up on the sauce.

Citations: Drunk (Complex), This is why you're a jerk when you drink (New York Post)