Al­co­hol ef­fects still there next day

Wales On Sunday - - NEWS -

THE ef­fects of a boozy bank hol­i­day drink­ing ses­sion could last longer than you think, a new study sug­gests.

The cog­ni­tive im­pair­ments seen when peo­ple are drunk are still present the day af­ter, when there is lit­tle to no al­co­hol left in the blood­stream.

Psy­chol­o­gists at the Univer­sity of Bath have dis­cov­ered that hun­gover peo­ple have poorer at­ten­tion, mem­ory and psy­chomo­tor skills such as co-or­di­na­tion and speed com­pared to when sober.

The re­searchers sug­gest their find­ings have im­por­tant im­pli­ca­tions when it comes to ac­tiv­i­ties per­formed when hun­gover, in­clud­ing driv­ing.

For ex­am­ple in­di­vid­u­als might typ­i­cally wait un­til they be­lieve there is no al­co­hol in the sys­tem be­fore driv­ing. These new re­sults sug­gest that we could still be im­paired in terms of the cog­ni­tive pro­cesses re­quired, even af­ter al­co­hol has left the blood­stream.

The re­searchers warn that al­though many work­places have clear poli­cies in place re­gard­ing al­co­hol in­tox­i­ca­tion, few cover the next-day ef­fects of al­co­hol.

For cer­tain jobs, they sug­gest, em­ploy­ees should be aware of the real ef­fects that han­govers can have, and em­ploy­ers might do well to con­sider re­vis­ing guide­lines on safety grounds.

The hang­over is the most com­monly re­ported neg­a­tive con­se­quence of al­co­hol use and is al­ready es­ti­mated to cost the UK econ­omy £1.9 bil­lion a year due to ab­sen­teeism.

A Sys­tem­atic Re­view Of The Ef­fects Of Al­co­hol Hang­over On Cog­ni­tive Per­for­mance is pub­lished in the jour­nal Ad­dic­tion.

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