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What Kind of Drunk Are You
Drinking Habits

What Kind of Drunk Are You?

October 31, 2023
11 min read
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Reframe Content Team
A team of researchers and psychologists who specialize in behavioral health and neuroscience. This group collaborates to produce insightful and evidence-based content.
October 31, 2023
11 min read
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Certified recovery coach specialized in helping everyone redefine their relationship with alcohol. His approach in coaching focuses on habit formation and addressing the stress in our lives.
October 31, 2023
11 min read
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Recognized by Fortune and Fast Company as a top innovator shaping the future of health and known for his pivotal role in helping individuals change their relationship with alcohol.
October 31, 2023
11 min read
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Reframe Content Team
October 31, 2023
11 min read

The concept of “types of drunks” is often mentioned in a lighthearted manner, rather than in a strictly scientific sense. However, people often associate common behavioral patterns with different types of intoxication.

There are 10 types of drunk people, each with a unique set of challenges to address. Understanding each of these types of drunks lets us identify issues in our own (or others’) habits, paving the way to a healthier relationship with alcohol.

1. The Happy Drunk

We all know people who become very cheerful, affectionate, and bubbly when intoxicated. They usually spread good vibes and tend to love everyone around them. This type of drunk is known as "The Happy Drunk." 

The Happy Drunk is the life of the party. However, the line between “tipsy” and “drunk” can be quickly crossed. While it’s common to feel euphoric in the initial stages of alcohol intoxication, these people remain gregarious and sociable as their blood alcohol concentration rises. It's imperative to keep in mind that excessive alcohol consumption clouds judgment and can lead to risky (and regrettable) behaviors, even for the Happy Drunk. 

2. The Sad or Emotional Drunk

The Sad or Emotional Drunk might cry, become nostalgic, or dwell on negative experiences or feelings after consuming alcohol.

Studies suggest that alcohol may reignite dormant regrets and unresolved feelings. We can provide emotional support to help these people navigate their emotions safely. However, it’s essential to treat the root cause. Encouraging responsible drinking and seeking professional assistance when necessary are vital for those of us predisposed to becoming the Sad or Emotional Drunk.

3. The Angry or Aggressive Drunk

Some people become confrontational or easily agitated when intoxicated, which can sometimes lead to violent behavior. For these people, alcohol consumption can trigger mild irritation — or it can escalate to extreme, even physical, aggression. 

When a person’s irritation morphs into aggression, their friends and family can be at risk. Alcohol misuse is strongly correlated with intimate partner violence, and it's also associated with an increased lifetime risk of physical assault. Furthermore, these types of drunk people may also engage in life-threatening behaviors, such as driving under the influence.

Exercise caution, defuse potential conflicts, and prioritize safety when interacting with the Angry or Aggressive Drunk.

4. The Sleepy Drunk

The Sleepy Drunk becomes extremely tired or wants to go to sleep soon after they begin drinking. Alcohol is a depressant, which means it slows our brain’s reactions, often triggering a sedative effect. (But only in the short term; evidence suggests that drinking impairs our sleep in the long run.) 

Sleepy Drunks tend to feel alcohol’s sedative effects more strongly. They might nod off at social gatherings or struggle to stay awake, even if they were energetic before drinking. The alcohol-induced drowsiness can disrupt their ability to socialize, and it’s dangerous — especially if they’re driving.

It's crucial for the Sleepy Drunk to recognize their limits and avoid situations where they need to stay alert. A designated driver or alternative transportation options are essential for their safety and the safety of others.

5. The Wild or Daring Drunk

Wild or Daring Drunks lose inhibitions, taking risks they wouldn’t when sober. This can range from dancing on tables to attempting dangerous stunts, activities that often lead to serious physical harm. 

Alcohol's impact on Wild or Daring Drunks’ decision-making often results in actions that push boundaries and challenge the norm. While some people find their behaviors entertaining, it's essential to strike a balance between having fun and ensuring safety. 

Friends can play a pivotal role in keeping these types of drunk people accountable to mindful drinking and preventing reckless behavior.

Diagram about the 10 types of drunk people

6. The Philosophical Drunk

Under the influence of alcohol, some people become deep thinkers, morphing into "The Philosophical Drunk." They delve into philosophical conversations, contemplating the meaning of life and other profound topics.

These types of drunks may surprise others with their musing, drawing from the alcohol-induced courage to explore profound ideas. Their insights can be thought-provoking and unconventional.

While the Philosophical Drunk provides interesting perspectives, it's essential to recognize that alcohol's cognitive effects blur the line between profound insight and incoherent rambling.

7. The Clingy Drunk

The Clingy Drunk becomes very attached to a person (hopefully a friend!) for the night, relying on them for emotional support, companionship, or decisions.

This transformation can manifest as a sudden need to be by someone's side throughout the night, seeking reassurance and a sense of security. While it can be endearing, the Clingy Drunk may also put pressure on the chosen friend to provide constant comfort.

Friends should exercise patience and understanding with the Clingy Drunk. It's important to be there for them while ensuring their safety and well-being (do not let them cling to or go home with a stranger!). 

8. The Denial Drunk

The Denial Drunk claims they aren’t drunk, no matter how much they’ve had to drink or how impaired they seem.

When in this state, the Denial Drunk downplays their level of intoxication, making exaggerated claims about their sobriety. This denial can be frustrating for others who can clearly see the effects of alcohol.

Address the Denial Drunk with empathy and concern for their safety. Encourage them to acknowledge their level of intoxication and make responsible choices. Offering alternatives to driving, such as arranging a sober ride, is crucial to prevent accidents or injuries. Professional help may also be necessary if the person is habitually in denial about drinking.

9. The Chatty Drunk

The Chatty Drunk becomes talkative, often striking up conversations with strangers or oversharing personal details.

Alcohol's relaxing effects can remove social inhibitions, making the Chatty Drunk feel comfortable engaging with others. While this can lead to enjoyable interactions and laughter, it can easily cross others’ personal boundaries.

In interactions with the Chatty Drunk, friends can enjoy the conversation while gently guiding them away from topics that are inappropriate for the situation or too personal. Encouraging mindful drinking and moderating their communication can help everyone maintain a positive and enjoyable social experience. 

10. The Sick Drunk

The Sick Drunk feels nauseous, dizzy, or throws up after drinking.

These unpleasant physical reactions can quickly take the fun out of an otherwise enjoyable time. The Sick Drunk may struggle to enjoy the social aspect of drinking due to their physical discomfort.

To avoid becoming a Sick Drunk, we should be mindful of our alcohol tolerance and know our limits. Staying hydrated and consuming food before drinking slows alcohol’s absorption into our bloodstream, decelerating our rate of intoxication. Additionally, if someone does become a Sick Drunk, make sure they receive the care and support they need to recover and stay safe. Some ginger ale and fresh air can help.

Types of Drunk People: The Takeaways

The way alcohol affects each of us will vary based on several factors: genetics, tolerance, age, weight, gender, physical health status, and mood prior to drinking. 

Additionally, we may not fit neatly into one specific category, and the same person might exhibit different behaviors on different occasions. The biggest takeaway here is to change the way alcohol shows up in our lives, whether that’s through cutting back or quitting. We may also need to seek professional help to overcome dependencies or work through the emotions that push us to drink in the first place. 

With awareness and the right support, we can choose the path to optimal well-being. Reframe can support you on this journey to becoming the strongest, most empowered version of yourself. 

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