James Bond is a ‘severe’ alcoholic and should be offered medical help by his employer, M16, academics have said.
The double agent drinks a total of 109 drinks over 24 films – an average of 4.5 per film, an analysis by researchers at the University of Otago in New Zealand found.
His record binge in the Quantum of Solace (2008) saw 007, played by Daniel Craig, consume 24 units of alcohol in one sitting – ‘enough to kill some people’.
James Bond, played by Daniel Craig in Quantum of Solace, 2008, is a ‘severe’ alcoholic, according to an analysis of the films by the University of Otago, New Zealand. He drinks a total of 109 drinks over the 24 films, an average of 4.5 per film
Bond’s drinking habits lead to ‘risky’ behaviour, the authors said, such as having sex with enemies and driving at high-speed. Pictured, Daniel Craig in Spectre, 2015
Bond’s employer, MI6, should have been more ‘responsible’ for Bond’s ‘chronic’ alcohol use disorder, the academics said. Pictured, Sean Connery in Gold Finger, 1964
‘Bond has drunk heavily and consistently across six decades,’ the authors of the study said.
‘We classified him as having severe alcohol use disorder, as he satisfied six of 11 DSM-5 criteria for this condition.’
The DSM-5 is The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, which is used by mental health professionals to assess disorders.
Bond’s love of a tipple, or his ‘chronic’ alcohol use disorder, as stated by the academic, led him to make bad choices.
They found Bond tended to engage in risky’ behaviour like fights and high-speed driving, sometimes while intoxicated.
‘Chronic risks include frequently drinking prior to fights, driving vehicles (including in 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 Professor Nick Wilson of the University of Otago, Wellington, said.
The authors of the report were also critical of his employer, MI6, saying they should have been more ‘responsible’.
‘MI6 management needs to redefine Bond’s job to reduce his stress levels,’ the study published in the Medical Journal of Australia said.
‘More field support and a stronger team approach are needed so that his duties do not weigh as heavily upon him.’
Bond drinks 24 units of alcohol in the biggest binge scene in Quantum of Solace, 2008. But in a book, he drinks 50 units. Pictured, Sean Connery and Shirley Eaton in Goldfinger, 1964
Bond is famous for his ‘shaken, not stirred’ martinis, but wouldn’t turn down a neat vodka, champagne, cocktail or an occasional beer, the study found. Pictured, Roger Moore and Tanya Roberts in A View To A Kill, 1985
What Bond films were studied?
Academics analysed 24 Bond films in the Eon Productions series (1962–2015).
1. Dr. No (1962)
2. From Russia with Love (1963)
3. Goldfinger (1964)
4. Thunderball (1965)
5. You Only Live Twice (1967)
6. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
7. Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
8. Live and Let Die (1973)
9. The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
10. The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
11. Moonraker (1979)
12. For Your Eyes Only (1981)
13. Octopussy (1983)
14. A View to a Kill (1985)
15. The Living Daylights (1987)
16. Licence to Kill (1989)
17. GoldenEye (1995)
18. Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
19. The World Is Not Enough (1999)
20. Die Another Day (2002)
21. Casino Royale (2006)
22. Quantum of Solace (2008)
23. Skyfall (2012)
24. Spectre (2015)
Independently of the Eon series, there have been three additional productions with the character of James Bond. Casino Royale (1954), Casino Royale (1967) and Never Say Never again (1983). There is also a film coming in 2020.
The authors suggested work-funded counselling or psychiatric support would be appropriate, considering he could have had post-traumatic stress after killing so many people and being tortured in films such as Casino Royale (2006) and Spectre (2015).
‘To start with, M should no longer offer Bond drinks in workplace settings,’ the authors said.
Although Bond is famous for his ‘shaken, not stirred’ martinis, he wouldn’t turn down a neat vodka, champagne, cocktail or an occasional beer, the study found.
In the most alcohol-fuelled scene, on a plane in the film Quantum of Solace, Bond consumes 24 units of alcohol in six ‘vespers’.
The vesper cocktail has a base of both gin and vodka, a recipe that was given to Bond by a barman in the 2006 film, Casino Royale.
This level of alcohol was ‘well into the range that can be fatal’, the authors said.
Notably, they say, this wasn’t near the high amount consumed in one of the books – although it not stated which one – of 50 units.
‘Consumed over 12 hours, this would achieve a blood alcohol level of about 0.61 g/dL, a level that would be fatal for most people; the highest blood alcohol level measured in a living person among 46,000 patients at a trauma centre was also 0.61 g/dL.14,’ the authors said.
‘Other notable features include a medical scan that showed his liver was “not too good” and a MI6 report on Bond that stated, “alcohol and substance addiction indicated”.’
While ideally Bond should seek professional help for his drinking, the authors suggest he should avoid drinking on the job, especially de-activating nuclear weapons, for example.
Bond has been subject to extensive research, with scientists publishing articles in scholarly journals about his smoking, violent behaviour and psychopathology.
DO YOU DRINK TOO MUCH ALCOHOL? THE 10 QUESTIONS THAT REVEAL YOUR RISK
One screening tool used widely by medical professionals is the AUDIT (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Tests). Developed in collaboration with the World Health Organisation, the 10-question test is considered to be the gold standard in helping to determine if someone has alcohol abuse problems.
The test has been reproduced here with permission from the WHO.
To complete it, answer each question and note down the corresponding score.
0-7: You are within the sensible drinking range and have a low risk of alcohol-related problems.
Over 8: Indicate harmful or hazardous drinking.
8-15: Medium level of risk. Drinking at your current level puts you at risk of developing problems with your health and life in general, such as work and relationships. Consider cutting down (see below for tips).
16-19: Higher risk of complications from alcohol. Cutting back on your own may be difficult at this level, as you may be dependent, so you may need professional help from your GP and/or a counsellor.
20 and over: Possible dependence. Your drinking is already causing you problems, and you could very well be dependent. You should definitely consider stopping gradually or at least reduce your drinking. You should seek professional help to ascertain the level of your dependence and the safest way to withdraw from alcohol.
Severe dependence may need medically assisted withdrawal, or detox, in a hospital or a specialist clinic. This is due to the likelihood of severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms in the first 48 hours needing specialist treatment.