September 1984

Subjective Responses to Alcohol in Sons of Alcoholics and Control Subjects

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, University of California School of Medicine, San Diego, and the Alcoholism Treatment Program, San Diego Veterans Administration Medical Center.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1984;41(9):879-884. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1984.01790200061008

• We matched 23 nonalcoholic male drinkers who were aged 21 to 25 years and had alcoholic close relatives (FHP) with 23 control subjects with negative family histories (FHN) for demographic characteristics and drinking and smoking histories. The subjective feelings of intoxication for the 46 men were studied on three occasions using placebo, 0.75 mL/kg of ethanol, and 1.1 mL/kg of ethanol. The FHP subjects (at elevated risk for the development of alcoholism) reported less intense feelings of subjective intoxication after drinking, especially during the two hours following the peak blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Group differences were most marked with the 0.75-mL/kg dose. The two groups did not differ significantly on their BACs nor on the expectation of how they would feel under the influence of alcohol.