License to drink and kill
"James Bond met more than half of the criteria for alcohol use disorder."James Bond is unmistakably known for the dry martini—shaken, not stirred—and a variant, the Vesper. But the fictional British Secret Service agent was no stranger to other drinks, including celebratory champagne and even the occasional beer. In fact, in two dozen movies over the past six decades, Bond—James Bond—was seen sipping on alcohol precisely 109 times, according to a new study published in the Medical Journal of Australia. Public health experts at the University of Otago in New Zealand analyzed Bond films from 1962 to 2015 to better understand his patterns of alcohol use. Their findings? Bond had a “severe” and “chronic” drinking problem—and he performed some pretty risky maneuvers while under the influence of alcohol. “Chronic risks include frequently drinking prior to fights, driving vehicles (including chases), high-stakes gambling, operating complex machinery or devices, contact with dangerous animals, extreme athletic performance, and sex with enemies, sometimes with guns or knives in the bed,” lead author Nick Wilson said in a statement. The study, entitled “License to swill: James Bond’s drinking over six decades,” won joint first place in the Medical Journal of Australia’s Christmas competition. Wilson, the lead author of the study, said in a press release that the Bond movies are “very good for studying trends in behaviors such as smoking and drinking.” He added that “it was also a fun study to do—and the ridiculousness of some of Bond’s actions after drinking helped give the work some scope for a laugh.” The study found that the British spy met more than half of the criteria for alcohol use disorder as defined by the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-5 classification system for mental disorders. In one film, “Quantum of Solace,” Bond consumed at least six Vespers, his concoction consisting of gin, vodka, and a blend of wines called Kina Lillet. That amount of alcohol, according to the researchers, would have raised Bond’s blood alcohol level to an estimated 0.36 grams per deciliter—almost high enough to cause a coma, heart failure, or even death.
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