Absinthe is a powerful licorice-tasting liquor that purportedly causes hallucinations in addition to feelings of euphoria. It’s also believed to have incited dangerous consequences such as those related to acute alcohol intoxication. Absinthe is usually 45% or greater in alcohol content, or 90 proof.
What Is Absinthe?
Absinthe is an alcoholic drink produced from distilled grains, anise, wormwood oil, and other herbs. Historically, the drink has been banned in several countries for nearly a century due to its dangerous effects. The drink was developed in Switzerland in 1792 but didn’t reach the U.S. until 1878. Absinthe is oft-referred to as the Green Fairy as a result of its emerald green color. When consumed, it’s traditionally poured over ice cubes or sugar cubes, sometimes even further diluted with water.
Effects Of Absinthe
As noted, absinthe has an extremely high alcohol content, and one can assume that a person who consumes much of it will get intoxicated. It has also been said that drinking absinthe has caused some people to suffer from mental illness. One theory was that the thujone in wormwood oil, as found in absinthe is the reason behind this effect.
Is Absinthe Legal In The U.S.?
Absinthe was illegal in the U.S. from 1912-2007. It is not lawful, but only when brewed with little to no thujone — one of the primary components of the original beverage.
“Absinthe became an epidemic health problem and was banned in many countries early in the 20th century, but its use continues legally or illicitly even now.”
~ National Institutes of Health
Does Absinthe Produce Hallucinations?
In media, particularly film, absinthe has long-since been depicted as causing severe hallucinations. Although these films may seem a little far-fetched, the belief that absinthe produces hallucinations may be more realistic than we previously thought.
Absinthe was traditionally made using thujone, a product believed to cause manic, even delirious behavior, and research as shown that “absinthism [has been] associated with gastrointestinal problems, acute auditory and visual hallucinations, epilepsy, brain damage, and increased risk of psychiatric illness and suicide.”
~ National Institutes of Health
Health-Related Issues Related to Absinthe
High alcohol content can result in numerous health issues such as alcoholic cardiomyopathy, cirrhosis of the liver, kidney failure, brain damage, diabetes, and many more. While alcohol abuse and binge drinking don’t always lead to long-term disorders and chronic disease, it does increase their likelihood.
The following are questions you can ask yourself to determine whether or not you may, in fact, have an alcohol use disorder:
- Have I had times when I ended up drinking more or longer than I intended?
- More than once, I wanted to reduce or stop drinking, or tried to, but found I could not?
- Have I spent a significant amount of time drinking or recovering from the after-effects?
- Have I experienced cravings or a strong need or urge to drink?
- Have I found that drinking or is affects often interfered with taking care of my home, family, school, or work?
- Have I continued to drink even though it was causing trouble with my relationships?
- Have I stopped engaging in activities that were important or interesting to me, opting instead to drink?
- Have I more than once gotten into situations while or after drinking that increased my chances of incurring physical harm?
- Have I continued to drink even though it was making me feel depressed or anxious?
- Have I had to drink much more than I once did to achieve the desired effects?” Or found that my usual number of drinks had much less effect than those before?
- As the effects of alcohol or other intoxicating substances are wearing off, I have had withdrawal symptoms, such as insomnia, shakiness, anxiety, irritability, depression, nausea, restlessness, or sweating? Or sensed things that were not there?
Getting Help for Addiction
Just Believe Detox and Just Believe Recovery offer customized, comprehensive addiction treatment programs in both partial hospitalization and residential (inpatient) formats. Our programs feature services and activities, including psychotherapy, individual and family counseling, 12-step program group support, mindfulness therapy, aftercare planning, and much more.
If you or a person you love is suffering from alcohol use disorder, we urge you to seek professional treatment as soon as possible.