Alcohol and Violence: A Case of Whiskey Fists
One evening an ex-boyfriend of mine came home drunk. I had accidentally locked him out. As I opened the door, all I saw was rage.
He started screaming at me, and raised his fists, He proceeded to punch every object around him (but fortunately not me) Blood and glass everywhere. Our baby was sleeping in the bedroom near by. His best friend referred to this moment as “Whiskey Fists”.
I use this item as an example of how alcohol can drastically change a personality when heavily consumed. Of course we all know that, from the myriad of ways a person can act out when intoxicated. Some people are affectionate, others teary, and some agitated.
It must have been the perfect storm that day, because he’s never done anything like that before or since.
Consider this: it is estimated that about 50% of all violent crimes in the United States are alcohol-related – thus, the correlation between alcohol and violence appears to be solid
Alcohol has an interesting effect on perception.
Some events are enhanced in a way that wouldn’t really make sense to a sober person. Confrontations can arise out of nowhere, and intentions misconstrued. Alcohol actually narrows your mental focus – sort of like tunnel vision – so that your field of perception is ultimately compromised.
And of course, alcohol reduces inhibitions, rendering the drinker impulsive and and less aware of the potential consequences of their actions. Also, fear is inhibited, so someone may strike out at another who is more sober and way more capable of winning the match. Also, you don’t feel as much pain when you are drunk, so you are more apt to injure yourself or someone else..
And here’s the thing – if someone is predisposed to such behaviors anyway, alcohol can remove any inhibitions that might have prevented such as act.
Truthfully, very few people who drink become enraged.
But when they do, the results are often disastrous. When you are dealing with someone who is quite out of their mind, the battle can rage on indefinitely.
According the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependece, in the United States each year 3 million violent crimes occur in which the offender appears to have been intoxicated. These may include aggravated and simple assaults, as well as rape, sexual assault, and domestic violence. In nearly 40% of sexual assaults, alcohol appears to have been a factor.
Also, bars and places were people are drinking can be a hotbed of trouble waiting to happen You have one guy bump into another’s guy’s girlfriend, and well…you know the rest of the story. Taverns have crucial to the human ritual of socialization for hundred of years, but when you deconstruct the concept, you can see the individual variables for what they are. Namely, a group of people together, sharing a poisonous drink, one which is apt to make them sensitive, clumsy, prone to injury, angry, and aggression.