Monkeys: They're Drunks Like Us

VIDEO: On the island of St. Kitts, its not uncommon for monkeys to snag alcohol.
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The physiological and genetic similarities between humans and monkeys make the hairier primates a great stand-in for humans when it comes to understanding the causes and effects of alcohol consumption, scientists say. For years, researchers have studied how monkeys react when introduced to alcohol, how much they drink and more.

Here are just a few examples of how these jungle dwellers imbibe like human bar flies:

1. They Get Hooked Young: Scientists have found that monkeys who are introduced to alcohol in their adolescence are more likely to drink more alcohol when they get older than those who stay dry.

2. Slaking a Stressed-Out Thirst: Monkeys will drink more heavily when in a stressful situation.

3. Slurring Their Speech: Monkeys' lips droop and their speech patterns are impaired by alcohol use.

4. Social Drinker or Teetotaler? Monkeys can fall into different patterns of drinking, including abstinence, social drinking, heavy drinking, and abusive drinking.

5. Intoxicating Inheritance: As with humans, monkeys can be genetically predisposed to alcoholism.

6. The Hangover: Monkeys don't bounce back after a bender; They get hangovers and those who drink constantly can develop liver disease.

7. Grand Theft Alcohol: Monkeys aren't above stealing when they want to get their drink on -- wild monkeys have been known to swipe cocktails from patrons at tropical resorts.

Watch the full story tonight on "20/20" at 10 p.m. ET.

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