Your Second Hangover is Always Better

By James Madeiros


The Hangover Part II and Blackouts/Brownouts

There’s no getting around it: hangovers are rough. Your tongue is wearing a sweater, your head is a lump of glowing weapons-grade uranium and your joints have crushed glass wedged in them.

Ouch. In preparation for yet another Hangover (movie, that is), we take a look at what often precedes a microbrew migraine – the alcohol brownout or blackout.

Many people have not heard of an alcoholic brownout, or do not know that this is different from a blackout. Brownouts are essentially a less severe form of a blackout that occurs with lower levels of alcohol.

Of course, the experience may not be so bad, because a loss of memory, vision and/or sensation doesn’t look like or feel like much at all; however, if it occurs it is a sign that the body has been roundly violated by alcohol.

Both impact memory, although they do not actually cause unconsciousness. The biggest difference is that a person who has had a blackout will not be able to recall what occurred during that time, no matter how much he or she is prompted, whereas a person who has had a brownout might have partial memories of the night or be able to recall memories when reminded of the events.

While they can be amusing to witness, brownouts and blackouts are very serious. They are often caused by quick and heavy drinking (e.g. chugging or bonging alcohol), and the result is essentially amnesia and can impact memory function in the long term – not good. Add in drugs, or roofies, and the health consequences can be over more severe.

By all accounts, a brownout or blackout is better experienced secondhand (and in fiction), and what better way to do it than watching the “Wolfpack” back in action in The Hangover 2. This time, Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis and Ed Helms take the party to Thailand where blackouts are the least of their worries.

The Hangover: Part II – premiers May 26, 2011. Stars Bradley Cooper as Phil, Zach Galifianakis as Alan, Ed Helms as Stu, Justin Bartha as Doug, Ken Jeong as Mr. Chow, and an appearance by Mike Tyson. Directed by Todd Phillips.


Of course, I should remind everyone that our blog entries are for your information only and are not intended as medical advice. Because everyone is different, you should work with your medical professional to determine what’s best for you. If you’re going to drink, do it legally and responsibly; don’t be stupid =).


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