Medically the review by Cynthia Taylor Chavoustie, MPAS, PA-C, specialty in household medicine — written by Louisa Richards on may 28, 2020

How plenty of drinks it takes because that someone to become intoxicated can vary from person to person. For example, it can depend ~ above how regularly they drink, their size, and also whether or no they have consumed anything recently.

This post looks in ~ alcohol absorption and also metabolism, what reasons someone to feel drunk, and what reasons hangovers.

It likewise looks in ~ measuring alcohol and drinking limit recommendations, levels of intoxication, and also some generally asked questions.

Share top top PinterestA person’s size can influence the number of drinks the takes because that them to obtain drunk.

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As alcohol beginning someone’s upper gastrointestinal tract, it is absorbed through the stomach lining right into the bloodstream.

According to the nationwide Institute top top Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), alcohol beginning the bloodstream really quickly.

The blood carries then the alcohol v the body and into the brain.

If someone has food in their stomach, it deserve to slow the process of alcohol absorption down. Otherwise, the human body absorbs alcohol very rapidly, and the impacts can start to show after only 10 minutes.

What reasons a person to feel drunk?

Alcohol has actually an result on numerous different systems and organs in the body, i beg your pardon can cause the sensations that world associate through feeling drunk.

Some that alcohol’s results on the body space as follows:

It can additionally cause the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine, causing a human being feeling relaxed.It downregulates glutamate, which renders someone’s brain slower come respond come stimuli.It additionally activates gamma-aminobutyric acid, which makes human being feel calm.
What reasons hangovers?

The complying with are some of the components that add to a hangover:

Immune factors

Alcohol has a far-ranging effect top top the immune system.

Scientists suggest that boosts in inflammation immune cells add to the nausea, fatigue, and headache linked with hangovers.

Disrupted sleep

Alcohol deserve to disrupt a person’s sleep. This can cause a human being to feel tired the following day.

According come the NIAAA, consuming alcohol can reason fragmented sleep and cause a person to wake earlier.


After absorption, the body metabolizes alcohol right into acetaldehyde, which reasons toxic effects and tissue damage.

This may reason some hangover symptoms, including nausea, sweating, and also headache.


In the hangover phase, the body deserve to concentrate and also metabolize the methanol current in alcohol into toxic compounds.

The body just metabolizes methanol after it has cleared the ethanol from the system.

Researchers think the this may define why “the hair of the dog” helps delay a hangover. Ethanol itself also produces a hangover, however.


Congeners are substances existing in alcohol. Researcher think that these may contribute to hangover severity.

According to an older 2010 review, beverages containing under congeners — such together vodka — may cause fewer hangover symptoms 보다 beverages such as bourbon.

Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is the percentage of alcohol in someone’s blood.

Law enforcement can measure and also detect a person’s BAC in ~ 30–70 minute of them spend alcohol.

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In the joined States, a BAC level of 0.08% is the conventional to determine legal intoxication. However, some says have additional standards, such together a BAC lowered to 0.04% for vehicle drivers of advertising vehicles.

Many claims impose harsh penalty for chauffeurs whose BAC is exceptionally high.

People have the right to use a calculator to uncover out their approximate BAC level. However, they need to not count on this to determine whether or not they are fit to work or drive.

Although the typical to identify legal intoxication is a BAC the 0.08% in the U.S., people can end up being intoxicated at levels lower than this.

Levels of intoxication deserve to depend ~ above a who weight and age. Just how regularly lock drink and when they last ate have the right to also impact their intoxication level.

As shortly as who takes a sip the alcohol, that starts to enter their bloodstream. The effects can be noticeable in as tiny as 10 minutes. As someone’s BAC increases, they have the right to become much more impaired by the results of intoxication.

The impacts of alcohol intoxication might include:

slurred speechreduced inhibitionsimpairment of motor abilitiesconfusionmemory problemsconcentration problems

More extreme effects of intoxication can include breathing problems, coma, and, in rarer cases, death.

The following are one alcohol addict drink equivalents:

12 fluid ounces (oz) the beer with 5% alcohol5 liquid oz that wine with 12% alcohol1.5 fluid oz the spirits with 40% alcohol

People should consider the size of the beverage and its alcohol content once calculating exactly how much castle have had to drink.

For example, a beer can be much more than 12 oz, so even if the alcohol contents is tho 5%, it would be an ext than one drink equivalent.

Mixed beverages and also cocktails differ in their alcohol content and can save a variable number of drink equivalents.