Drowning your pain in alcohol may sound like an unhealthy activity, but science says that it literally might help. New research published in the Journal of Pain by scientists at Greenwich University in the U.K. concludes that alcohol (particularly beer) could be a better painkiller than acetaminophen (the major ingredient in over-the-counter drugs like Tylenol).
The study, which observed the effects of painkillers and alcohol on 404 people in 18 different studies, concluded that having a blood alcohol content of .08 (or about three beers) is comparative to the effects of opioid drugs like codeine. Even consuming two beers will reduce pain by about 25 percent.
“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,” Dr. Trevor Thompson, who headed the study, told The Sun.
However, scientists stress that alcohol should not replace regular medical attention.
“Drinking too much will cause you more problems in the long run,” Rosanna O’Connor, director of alcohol and drugs at Public Health England, said. “It’s better to see your GP.”