Do Drunk People Tell the Truth

Authored by Jane Squires

Edited by Hugh Soames

Reviewed by Philippa Gold

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Do Drunk People Tell the Truth?


It has long been claimed that drunk people tell the truth. The old adage is that if you want to know how someone feels about you, then speak to them when they are drunk to find out.


These claims are surprisingly accurate as research has found that drunk people often tell the truth when speaking to other individuals. Studies have found that alcohol loosens the control that people have over their words and actions.


This lack of control and caring less about the consequences of what occurs, leads people to speak more freely when intoxicated. So, do people tell the truth when drunk? Yes, to an extent people do tell the truth when drunk.


Do People Tell The Truth When Drunk in Alcohol Blackout?


Do remember that there are different stages of drunkenness. If someone is  a bit tipsy, a bit giddy  and shouting their mouth off there may well be an element of truth in what they are saying. When drunkenness moves into full blown blackout, it would be wise to seek some help for the individual rather than engage in a war of words.


In alcohol blackout the human body and brain are anesthetized to the same level as you would get on an operating room table. When a patient slips in and out of anesthesia they say all sorts of random things that make no sense in the light of day. 


Alcohol-induced blackouts, or memory loss for all or portions of events that occurred during a drinking episode, are reported by approximately 50% of drinkers and are associated with a wide range of negative consequences, including injury and death11.R. R. Wetherill and K. Fromme, Alcohol-induced blackouts: A review of recent clinical research with practical implications and recommendations for future studies – PMC, PubMed Central (PMC).; Retrieved September 19, 2022, from


The Effect of Alcohol on the Brain


Alcohol limits your skills to reason. You are not able to contemplate the repercussions of your actions or words. You are more likely to tell the truth when drunk. At times, people can be brutally honest and provide unflattering opinions to others.


When alcohol is consumed, it overloads the working memory, impairs judgment, causes primary inhibitory impairment in social settings, and affects social rationalization and the ability to decipher if something is socially acceptable.


If inhibitions and social rationalization are both lowered, a person may say what is on their mind without thinking first. Some of the personal information they reveal may be true, but alcoholics can still lie about certain things.


Alcohol may give people the courage they do not have when sober. This courage allows them to say and do things they normally would not do.


When you drink alcohol, the top of the brain, the cerebral cortex, is affected. Alcohol’s impact on the cerebral cortex makes you more likely to speak and act in ways you wouldn’t when sober. Some people may say or do something funny. Yet, other people may act violently.


Hitting Rock Bottom


There is a benefit to people saying and doing things they normally wouldn’t when intoxicated. By embarrassing yourself, you may hit rock bottom. Once at rock bottom, you are more likely to seek out treatment and get the help needed to recover from alcohol addiction. The more public the meltdown or hitting of rock bottom, like what is seen with public figures, the more likely a person is to get help.


Experts on alcohol dependency say that a person should be held accountable for what they say when unintoxicated. In addition, a person shouldn’t be forgiven for their words or actions after sobering up. The old claim that “alcohol made me do it” is not an accurate one.


The neocortex is the brain’s region that is supposed to control the compulsions and instincts of the lower portion of the brain. Alcoholic’s do not possess a properly working neocortex due to the buildup of poison and damage to the region of the brain. Alcohol dependency can cause major behavioral changes in people.


Getting help for Alcohol Addiction


A person suffering from alcoholism can find help in the form of residential rehab treatment. Treatment programs give individuals the opportunity to get clean and sober while receiving help for their co-occurring disorders. Rehab treatment enables you to get help and to learn the tools needed to stay alcohol-free in the future.


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Next: Common Characteristics of Daughters of Alcoholic Fathers

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    1.R. R. Wetherill and K. Fromme, Alcohol-induced blackouts: A review of recent clinical research with practical implications and recommendations for future studies – PMC, PubMed Central (PMC).; Retrieved September 19, 2022, from
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