We know that hundreds of thousands of people in the United States came into the New Year just like they do any other New Year – with their hands around a glass bottle during a night of heavy drinking, and never the wiser that they may have an alcohol addiction. Only to wake up the next day and regret drinking that much alcohol. It’s no wonder many people get up on New Year’s Day and think, “How long until I get sober?” They need to be concerned about what they may be doing to their mental and physical health.
How Long Alcohol Stays in the Human Body
It all depends on a number of factors; however, for someone to sober up faster, they need to have drank a smaller number of drinks. The amount of time they spend drinking a large number of alcoholic drinks and when they take their first drink can also affect how high their blood alcohol content is.
The different factors that determine how long alcohol will stay in your system include:
- Individual’s age
- Individual’s weight
- What they’ve ingested
- Medications they have taken, and
- The overall health of the individual’s liver
Typically, you can measure the amount of alcohol in the human body by doing a blood test. And you can measure it with this test for at least 6 hours later after you take your last drink. Breathalyzer tests can measure your blood alcohol level from 12 to 24 hours.
The Metabolism of Alcohol
Alcohol happens to leave the human body at the rate of 00.15/100mL an hour. That’s no different than your BAC level being reduced by 0.015 per hour. In men, that is equivalent to one standard drink an hour. Over 90% of alcohol is egested by your liver; 2%-5% is egested while never changed through sweat, breath, and urine.
The beginning of metabolism happens to be oxidation by way of alcohol dehydrogenases, where no less than four isoenzymes exist, to be able to acetaldehyde in the existence of cofactors.
How is Alcohol Measured in the Body?
Whenever you get a test done to measure the amount of alcohol in your body, you’re not measuring the total amount of alcoholic drinks you drank. Alcohol tests instead measure the blood alcohol concentration or BAC levels.
Your BAC levels show the total amount of alcohol that’s either in your bloodstream or your breath, which is determined by the amount of ethanol (grams) within 100 milliliters of your blood or 210 liters of your breath.
One standard drink can easily increase your BAC levels by around 0.02 in just 45-65 minutes, which is how long your body needs for optimal alcohol absorption. According to the National Institute of Health, when you drink enough alcohol on an empty stomach, the concentration is 20-30%.
Sherry, which has an alcohol concentration of up to 20%, will increase the overall level of alcohol in the bloodstream faster than beer. Typically, the effects of alcohol tend to wear off by the next morning. However, those who drink excessively usually have to deal with a massive hangover.
If you don’t want to experience a hangover after drinking, you should consider drinking much more moderately.
The Best Way to Avoid Getting a Hangover
Whenever you abuse alcohol, you can look forward to the awful hangover that will find you in the morning. Some typical hangover symptoms include fatigue, thirst, weakness, headache, nausea, vertigo, dehydration, sweating, vomiting, and more.
The only way you can guarantee you don’t get a hangover would have to be only taking a couple of drinks, and the concentration of alcohol that you are drinking should be rather low. You can also drink plenty of water in between alcoholic drinks.
As a general rule, you should always remember never to drive if you are above the legal limit – 0.08%. If you get a hangover the next day after only drinking a moderate amount of alcohol, you can take a cold shower to revitalize your body.
The Effects Of Alcohol When it is Consumed
If you tend to drink a lot of alcoholic drinks – whether on one occasion or over a long period of time – it can cause a lot of damage to the human body. Alcohol consumption causes the following effects on your body:
Alcohol can interfere with your brain’s communication pathways, and it can change the way the brain works and looks. These types of interruptions can change your mood and your behavior, and they can also cause you to have a hard time thinking clearly and the ability to move with coordination.
If you drink too much over a long length of time or too much in one sitting can cause damage to your heart – causing certain problems that include:
- Cardiomyopathy – The stretching and dropping of your heart muscle
- Arrhythmias – When your heart beats irregularly
- High blood pressure, and
For an average person, if you choose heavy drinking over sober living, it will take a toll on your liver, which can cause a number of different issues and liver inflammations, which include:
- Steatosis – fatty liver
- Cirrhosis, and
- Alcoholic hepatitis
When you consume a glass of wine every day, it can have health benefits. However, if you consume more than just one glass, there could be consequences that affect your overall health.
What Does it Mean to Be a Heavy Drinker?
Excessive drinking is the one thing that is the most similar to binge drinking and heavy drinking. However, it may mean something much different from person to person, which depends on many factors, including physical factors and others such as:
The CDC, or the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, has given us two different ways to think about this: heavy drinking is measured by the calendar, and binge drinking is measured by the clock.
Someone is binge drinking when they consume at least 4 to 5 alcoholic drinks on one single occasion – while at a restaurant or a party or while sitting at home on the sofa. And someone is considered to be heavy drinking when they consume an average of over 1 to 2 drinks every single night within an entire week.
When it comes to heavy drinking, it’s not all about the unit of alcohol you are consuming before you finally start to feel drunk. It’s really about the drinks adding up – a night out, within a whole week, or even just throughout the entire year.
When you binge drink, you can experience alcohol poisoning if you take alcohol intoxication to the extreme. The good news is that if you can make it to the hospital in time, doctors may be able to save your life. However, if you cannot reach the hospital, your organs will shut down.
Getting Sobered Up After Drinking Way Too Much Alcohol
Contrary to popular belief, the overall process of the body sobering up after a night out drinking way too much alcohol can’t be done faster by doing some magic dance or drinking more alcohol. Nothing can speed up this process.
Not only that but if you want to try sober living, you can use a sobriety calculator to track your progress once you have finally sobered up and have been sober for some time. It’s a great way to stay sober as well.
When you track your sobriety, you will be motivated by how long you have been sober. And you can look back at the previous month to see how you have progressed.
Are You Worried That You Are Consuming Too Much Alcohol?
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, you could possibly have an alcohol addiction if you experience at least two or more of these issues in the last month:
- Drinking way more or for much longer than you had originally intended to.
- Failed attempts to cut back on drinking or trying to stop drinking altogether.
- You spend much of your time obtaining, drinking, or recovering from using alcohol.
- You crave alcohol.
- Not able to accomplish responsibilities at school, work, or at home because of your alcohol consumption.
- Failing to stop drinking, although you’re having social problems as a result of your drinking and the effects of alcohol.
- Vital social, recreational, or employment activities come to a halt due to your use of alcohol.
- You are drinking in considerably more physically detrimental situations.
- Failing to stop drinking alcohol although you are aware it is having negative effects on your overall health.
- You’ve developed a high tolerance to alcohol.
- You are experiencing symptoms of withdrawal from the use of alcohol.
The concentration of alcohol in your blood gets higher the more alcohol you drink. Once you know you have a problem, you should seek help.