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View Full Version : Do your eyes dilate when you get hammered?



randycat99
2006-Nov-06, 02:36 AM
That's what I thought they are so supposed to do- the pupils get bigger, right?

However, I suspect I have the opposite effect when imbibing. I just looked in the mirror and they are small. Plus everything looks darker to me than usual. Does this happen to anybody else? Do I have brain damage or am I really an alien?

BigDon
2006-Nov-06, 02:42 AM
Depends what you are getting hammered on. Intense sexual arousal, LSD, psylicibin, mescaline amd a few other things like brain death will cause your pupils to expand, not to mention low light levels. When you look in the mirror while drunk, do you have a bright light on?

randycat99
2006-Nov-06, 02:53 AM
Oh, I meant alcohol. :D Yes, there is a bright light for the bathroom mirror. Guess I should check with an indirect flashlight... They just look smaller, even considering the light.

EDIT: Nope, they are small even under darkness and only indirect flashlight. I hope it means I'm terminal! :p

01101001
2006-Nov-06, 03:46 AM
LA Police Department Online (http://www.lapdonline.org/get_informed/content_basic_view/1039)


Central Nervous System Depressants

This category includes the most widely abused drug, alcohol. In addition, the category consists of barbiturates, non-barbiturates that have barbiturate-like effects, anti-anxiety tranquilizers, anti-psychotic tranquilizers, certain anti-depressants, and certain pharmaceutical combinations that contain more than one type of CNS Depressant. [...] These drugs produce relaxation, drowsiness, impaired balance and coordination, slurred speech, a lowering of inhibitions, and increased risk taking. They also produce horizontal gaze nystagmus, do not generally affect pupil size, and typically depress the vital signs.

randycat99
2006-Nov-06, 04:14 AM
Ah, so the "dilated pupil" thing is more urban myth. I guess I learned something today! I still swear my pupils get smaller. It makes sense from my standpoint, since things appear more dim in my livingroom (unless somebody else has a better explanation).

Maybe it is an Asian response, as well?

...but then there is some other things that conflict. I'm no stranger to a frat party, so I've seen my fair share of people utterly plowed. I specifically remember seeing big pupils, especially when they are in that talkative state. That's a good time to really study the eyes (cuz they are going to blabber on as long as you are standing there, anyway).

clop
2006-Nov-06, 04:33 AM
Most hallucinogens, including the common LSD, MDMA (ecstasy), MDA, MDEA and 2C-B, widely-dilate pupils, as does cocaine. Maybe your frat friends were consuming more than just alcohol?

clop

Maksutov
2006-Nov-06, 05:07 AM
I've found that I can't tell if my pupils dilate after getting hammered. The problem is that the impact of the hammer usually causes nearly immediate unconsciousness, during which evaluation of the situation is impossible.

This thread reminds me of one of my favorite episodes of Sledge Hammer: "Hammeroid".

http://www.cosgan.de/images/smilie/boese/a010.gif

randycat99
2006-Nov-06, 06:42 AM
Interesting point, clop. I suppose it is possible, though I never noticed anything more than simple drunkedness, as far as behavior.

clop
2006-Nov-06, 06:48 AM
Sometimes it can be very hard to tell, even when you know what you are looking for, but hugely, obviously dilated pupils, especially in non-dim conditions, are a sure sign that someone has had more than just a drink. In most cities I reckon at least 15% of the people in a nightclub (and maybe up to 80%) will have large pupils for this reason.

randycat99
2006-Nov-06, 06:58 AM
I guess I missed out on all the "real" fun in college! :p

Romanus
2006-Nov-06, 10:30 PM
As already mentioned, some drugs will dilate the pupils. A few will actually contract them, such as heroin and related narcotics.

Peter Wilson
2006-Nov-06, 11:52 PM
My understanding of the "flashlight-in-the-eyes" routine used by cops is to check for illicit drug use. People on coke, LSD, etc, do not stumble or slur their speech like drunks, so you need another test. At night, when you point flashlight in someone's eyes, normal reaction is to blink and turn away...even drunks. So cop will ask druggie to look into light. Druggie--trying not to arouse suspicion--dutifully obeys cop and stares unblinking into flashlight. Dead give-away.

Pupils expand when people are excited for any reason. Big pupils in frat-brother eyes probably just reflects drunken excitement.

Swift
2006-Nov-07, 02:31 PM
I agree with Peter Wilson. Back in my EMT days, we never would use pupil response to judge alcohol consumption - I never even heard a rumor that alcohol had an effect on pupil size. However, response to light (or lack of) was a sign of narcotics.

Blob
2006-Nov-07, 03:00 PM
Hum,
hence the term `pinned` is used for a morphine user.
However, it must be said that other drugs such as MDMA will dilate the pupils.

i would suspect that most amateur skywatchers would choose the latter, er, if they were forced to choose.

Tunga
2006-Nov-07, 07:58 PM
"Where There is No Doctor: A Village Health Care Handbook" discusses pupil size and states "Pay attention to the size of the pupils. If they are very large, it can mean a state of shock. If they are very large or very small, it can mean poison or the effect of certain drugs."

Peter Wilson
2006-Nov-07, 10:50 PM
...the term `pinned` is used for a morphine user...

Does anybody know what "loop" referes to, as in, "I was all looped up when I killed him"?

01101001
2006-Nov-07, 10:57 PM
Does anybody know what "loop" referes to, as in, "I was all looped up when I killed him"?

Online Etymology Dictionary: Loop (http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?l=l&p=11)


Looped "drunk" is from 1934; loopy "crazy" is from 1925.

Not sure where the 'crazy' meaning came from, but I could see it leading to the 'drunk' version.

Blob
2006-Nov-07, 11:01 PM
Hum,
loopy = Lupus ?

as in full moon crazyness - werewolf (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Werewolf).

Crazy come from the viking word krasa meaning to smash

Maksutov
2006-Nov-08, 01:12 PM
I agree with Peter Wilson. Back in my EMT days, we never would use pupil response to judge alcohol consumption - I never even heard a rumor that alcohol had an effect on pupil size. However, response to light (or lack of) was a sign of narcotics.Sounds right, except for when the drug user or non-drug user is a migraneur or epileptic.

In such a case, the person being examined will immediately cover their eyes, shut their eyelids, or turn to avoid the glare. If prevented from doing so, the individual will then most likely cover the officer with what was last eaten.

Swift
2006-Nov-08, 02:38 PM
Sounds right, except for when the drug user or non-drug user is a migraneur or epileptic.
Changes in the responsiveness of the eyes to light is also an excellent sign of head injury or stroke, particularly if the response is unequal.



In such a case, the person being examined will immediately cover their eyes, shut their eyelids, or turn to avoid the glare. If prevented from doing so, the individual will then most likely cover the officer with what was last eaten.
Or cover their friendly neighborhood medical personnel - after about the third or fourth time the clamor of heavy alcohol consumption losses a lot of its charm, at least to me. ;)