Hangover memories commonplace in individuals with family history of drinking problems, finds study

Hangover memories commonplace in individuals with family history of drinking problems, finds study

When strong symptoms of hangover, including headache, nausea and vomiting bother individuals the next morning, some may curse their drinking sprees while others may easily get over it. Like the severity of hangovers that is different for different individuals, the lessons learned from them are also different for different people. It is already a known fact that family history of alcoholism increases one’s risk of developing a drinking problem. Going a step further, a recent survey explored how a family history of drinking may influence one’s approach to look at the past episodes of hangovers. 

According to a recent study published online in the June 2017 edition of Psychopharmacology and led by Dr. Richard Stephens, a psychologist at Keele University in the United Kingdom, people belonging to a family with alcohol use disorders (AUD) are more likely to ruminate over the painful memories of hangovers.

Haunting memories of hangovers

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) has suggested that people with a family history of alcoholism have 50 percent higher risk of developing AUD over people who do not belong to such families. Basis this research, Dr. Stephens explored the possible association between unpleasant effects of alcohol on the following day and a family history of drinking. His research paper, “Does familial risk for alcohol use disorder predict alcohol hangover?” was based on the findings of two studies analyzing hangover frequency and severity.

The first study revealed that people having alcohol-addicted members in their family tended to recall previous episodes more frequently than those without a family history of drinking problems, taking into consideration the alcohol consumption levels. The second study was based on the interviews of participants on the morning following a night of drinking, who showed some hangover symptoms. No difference was observed in hangover symptoms between the control group and the participants with a family history of alcoholism. But Dr. Stephens said, “Taken together with findings from prior research it appears that people who are predisposed to develop problem drinking are no more susceptible to developing a hangover after a night of alcohol than people who are not predisposed. However, we found that such people appear to remember their hangovers more lucidly.”

Dr. Stephens also saw the opportunity of controlling heavy drinking problems by exploiting the habit of recalling lucid memory. By reminding people about the haunting memories of the hangover, such as letting down family members by disrupting plans or beating someone up under the influence, may help such people check their alcohol consumption when they crave for the same the next time.

Treatment of alcohol addiction

Alcohol addiction is treatable. Generally, health care professionals adopt three strategies to treat alcohol-related problems – pharmacological interventions (use of medications), behavioral treatments and mutual support groups. The common behavioral therapies, include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational enhancement therapy, marital and family counseling and brief interventions. Brief interventions are one-on-one or small group psychotherapy sessions, in which participants are educated about potential risks of alcohol for patients, family and society. However, not all treatments work the same for all individuals.

People who are battling alcohol addiction or other alcohol-related problems should immediately seek professional help to live a healthy and happy life. The Alcohol Addiction Helpline of California offers help to such patients in recovering from alcohol addiction. You can chat online with experts to get details about evidence-based inpatient alcohol rehab centers in California or contact our 24/7 helpline number 855-980-1715 to know about the finest alcohol addiction treatment centers in California.

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