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What is a hangover?

Sheila Dunnells
Addiction Medicine
One of the many reasons treating adolescent alcoholics is difficult is that they do not get hangovers. Or, so they say. If you ask them how they felt that next day after consuming enough alcohol to put most of us in the hospital, they will say, "Fine." Often they sleep late, wake up and eat a big  Mac, go back to bed and by evening they have successfully by-passed a hangover. They use this as one reason why they can't have a drinking problem. Often, they skirt the consequences of their drinking behavior. Then if they have enabling parents, excuses will be made for that headache, upset stomach, etc. Parents who do not ebable make sure 'Johnny' gets up for work or school regardless of the hour they arrived home the night before.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Alcohol causes your body to release water, causing a hangover. Learn more on this topic in this video of Dr. Oz and Jimmy Fallon.


After excessive consumption of alcohol, you may experience a hangover, which is a cluster of unpleasant symptoms that can be physical, psychological, or both. Hangovers are uncomfortable, but they usually resolve on their own. In general, the more you drink at one sitting, the more likely you are to get a hangover the following day.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.