Accepting Cookies

We use cookies to ensure we give you the best browsing experience on our website. Find out more on how we use cookies and how you can change your settings in our privacy policy. If you choose not to use cookies on our site, you can change your cookie settings in your browser or leave our website.

The Truth About Sobering Up With A ‘Tacky Vom’

You may have heard of the tactical vomit (aka. the ‘tacky vom.’) It’s when a person has had a little bit too much to drink, on a night out, and decides to force themselves to vomit so they can feel well enough to keep drinking. Sounds a bit gross right?! But, some people genuinely believe the tacky vom works. So, out of curiosity we did some research and thought we’d share our findings on this so-called ‘life-saving’ hack.

The Tactical Vomit: When an intoxicated person forces themselves to vomit so they can continue drinking.

Why do you feel better after a tactical vomit?

A tactical vomit does make you feel better but, unfortunately, it doesn’t make you feel better in the ‘right’ way. When you vomit, (we know it’s a bit gross to talk about) your brain releases endorphins and adrenaline. Particularly, these endorphins are a natural, feel-good chemical which is why you feel sooooo amazing when you exercise, listen to music, eat food… and, of course, have a vomit.

Not only this, vomiting also expels your stomach contents which may be the reason you were feeling a little nauseous or ‘under the weather.’ No wonder people say they feel a THOUSAND times better after having a chuck.

So, when you consider these positives, it does sound like a tacky vom is a pretty good idea. It definitely seems like a great and affordable way to get your stomach naturally pumped. However, as we said before… it doesn’t make you feel better in the way you think it does.

Let’s unpack this together!

Does a tactical vomit reduce your blood alcohol levels?

Unlike popular opinion, the tacky vom does not reduce your blood alcohol level. It doesn’t actually help you sober up. SHOCK HORROR. So, even though you feel better, the alcohol that’s entered your bloodstream is still, you guessed it, in your bloodstream. The only way your body can remove this alcohol is through your liver… which takes time and a little bit of patience on your end. Although emptying your stomach contents will reduce some of the toxins from reaching your brain (the alcohol that hasn’t been digested yet,) if you keep drinking after a tacky vom, you’re still going to increase your blood alcohol level! You guessed it, your blood alcohol level doesn’t automatically reset. So, it’s important to drink responsibly and to always have a buddy system so someone has your back.

Remember, if you’re worried about your friend who has drunk too much, call 000 to request an ambulance. Here are some telltale signs to help you out when deciding if you should call the ambos - severely slurred speech, irregular or slow breathing, unconsciousness, loss of coordination, discoloured skin due to low body temperature, and excessive vomiting.

What are the risks of a tactical vomit?

Tacky voms are not the same as an au naturale vomit. If done regularly, it can be quite problematic. Here’s a few things that can happen…

One, there is increased strain on the oesophagus which can lead to tears, bleeding, inflammation and (sometimes) permanent damage. BIG YIKES.

Two, you might wake up with bright red eyeballs! This is called a subconjunctival hemorrhage which is when the whites of your eyes turn bright red as a result of blood vessels bursting from pressure. Not exactly the best look for a job interview the next day.

Three, stomach acid can cause serious damage to your pearly whites. If you want to avoid excessive trips to the dentist we’d recommend passing on the tacky vom.

Finally, vomiting while drunk can lead to suffocation through your stomach contents blocking your airway. This can be super dangerous and, you probably guessed it, can lead to death. So, BE CAREFUL!

A quick PSA…

Another infamous trick is the ‘eating so much bread that you feel physically stuffed’ trick. Similar to the tacky vom, this does not reduce your blood alcohol level and can, once again, be quite dangerous.

Check out this article for some more myths!