It’s good for what ales you: A new study suggests that beer could be just as effective at killing pain as, well, painkillers.
But before you go swapping two Advils for three pints at the pub, it’s important to recognize that their conclusions help explain why some people rely on booze to soothe. They’re not suggesting that you literally drink the pain away.
In “Analgesic Effects of Alcohol: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Controlled Experimental Studies in Healthy Participants,” researchers at Greenwich University in the U.K found that “findings suggest that alcohol is an effective analgesic that delivers clinically-relevant reductions in ratings of pain intensity, which could explain alcohol misuse in those with persistent pain despite its potential consequences for long-term health. Further research is needed to corroborate these findings for clinical pain states.”
Long-term, this is obviously a damaging way to treat pain. “It can be compared to opioid drugs such as codeine and the effect is more powerful than paracetamol (generic Tylenol),” said Trevor Thompson, an author of the study published in The Journal of Pain. “If we can make a drug without the harmful side- effects then we could have something that is potentially better than what is out there at the moment.”
Or, you could swap both over the counter meds and alcohol for pain relief from cannabis.