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Take two average healthy adult males weighing 80 kg. Neither has, ahem, developed their alcohol tolerance to any significant degree.

One imbibes 1 shot, 40 ml of 40% Methanol, and another 40 ml of 40% Ethanol (vodka) to empty stomach.

Now the vodka drinker should feel the drink going to their head, and he'd become just slightly drunk, and that's about it. No hangover expected from 1 shot of vodka, either.

What would be the effects on the Methanol drinker? Info on other effects would be nice too, but most importantly, would he become drunk, and how much compared to the vodka drinker?

If 16 ml of absolute methanol seems so much, that other toxic effects will dominate over "feeling drunk", then you can consider a smaller amount. The crux of the question is, does Methanol cause one to "become drunk" same way as Ethanol.


WARNING, just in case, to offset the casual tone of above question: Never drink anything which even just might contain Methanol! It's an easy way to die, or just go blind if you're "lucky"! It is not a useful way to get drunk or high, ever.

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  • $\begingroup$ According to Wikipedia the density of methanol is 0,79 g/ml. Your 40ml of 40% Methanol contain about 16ml pure methanol which translate into 12,6gr. According to this paper the toxic dose starts around drinking 8g, so you would have some other, severe problems. $\endgroup$ – Chris Nov 22 '16 at 12:08
  • $\begingroup$ @Chris Yes, I'd expect so. I tried to choose an amount, which should feel like going to ones head (1 shot of vodka to empty stomach), yet shouldn't be lethal amount of Methanol. $\endgroup$ – hyde Nov 22 '16 at 12:12
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    $\begingroup$ A starting point could be this review which states : "With respect to GABAA receptors, a number of alcohols [...], including methanol, [...] potentiate GABA-gated current. The potencies of these alcohols tend to increase with chain length.". Not a definitive answer, though, because this is mole-for-mole at the receptor site, only for GABAaR, and does not take into account kinetics of absorption/passage of the BBB. $\endgroup$ – Eliane B. Nov 22 '16 at 12:51

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