Bourbon Cures Vodka Induced Blindness

Yes, its true: Bourbon is actually the doctor recommended treatment for vodka induced blindness. In November, a NewZealand man imbibed a bit too much vodka and his body converted the overdose in methanol consumption to the toxic compound formaldehyde. The methanol raises the body's blood acidity due to formaldehyde conversion which can damage or kill the optic nerve. Without too much scientific jargon, this type of poisoning can cause permanent blindness. Yikes!

As the man recounts, "I thought it had got dark and I'd missed out on a bit of time but it was only about half-past-three in the afternoon. I was fumbling around the bedroom for the light switch but ... I'd just gone completely blind."After a few hours of no sight, the man decided to make an appearance at the the doctor's office where he was surprisingly treated with a IV drip filled with bourbon. WHAT? Aren't you suppose to avoid mixing your darks with your lights, your beers from your wines? Believe me, I had the same reaction.

But here's why it works: in the case of vodka induced blindness, bourbon is used for treatment because it actually blocks the body's ability to metabolize the methanol. The ethanol found in bourbon is more easily broken down by the body, so it halts the metabolization of methanol. This is the most effective method to prevent this type of poisoning. Of course, there is a very low probability of this type of poisoning actually happening while your sipping martinis at happy hour. But just in case, now you know the one circumstance where you definitely should mix your poisons.

{REMEMBER: if you truly suspect that someone has methanol poisoning, DO NOT try to treat the situation at home - go to your medical provider and have the experts administer the IV of bourbon}


Theunissen, M. "Whisky saves man's eyesight after being blinded by vodka". The New Zealand Herald. November 30, 2012.

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