Alcohol is notorious for depleting the body of hydrating fluids. Not to mention, it’s uncommon to find someone actively drinking water while they are intoxicated. Alcohol is a diuretic and causes the body to remove essential the best gifts for celebrating 1-year sobriety fluids from your blood via your renal system — your kidneys and bladder — at a faster-than-normal rate. If a person doesn’t replenish the body with hydrating fluids like water, they will risk becoming dehydrated.

  1. When the liver is unable to process excess amounts of alcohol, the remaining toxins are left to travel throughout the bloodstream and to the brain — causing inebriation.
  2. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals.
  3. Everyone faces the risk of excessive alcohol consumption when drinking.
  4. Blood alcohol content (BAC) is the unit used to measure the amount of alcohol in a person’s bloodstream.

The experience of being drunk can feel different for everyone, but it commonly results in a decrease in inhibitions and a heightening of emotions. The Chief Medical Officers for the UK recommend that if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, the safest approach is not to drink alcohol at all to keep the risk to your baby to a minimum. As well as the NHS, there are a number of charities and support groups across the UK that provide support and advice for people with an alcohol misuse problem. This often leads to “relief drinking” to avoid withdrawal symptoms. In fact, it may even seem like you’re with a completely different person.

It’s those that are already sociable who are difficult to assess. Thus, knowing how to recognize other signs of intoxication will be beneficial for those who do not have access to these tools. You will not be able to breathe normally, and your gag reflex won’t work correctly.


A person who has consumed too much alcohol is at risk of aspiration, or choking on their own vomit, or becoming severely injured, which can be dangerous and even fatal. Now that you know how to tell if someone is drunk, you might be noticing signs of drunkenness in a friend or loved one. Knowing what habits to look out for that serve as signs of alcoholism is extremely important in accurately determining whether someone is struggling with addiction. Seeking out addiction treatment options is strongly recommended to help prevent these individuals from suffering further damage. This is primarily because alcohol slows down activity within the brain. Thus, this prevents this organ from communicating with the rest of the body in a timely manner.

Checking for Physical Signs You’re Drunk

Some people may be at risk of alcohol overdose after just a few drinks, especially if they are young, small, or do not often drink. A 2016 study found that very intoxicated people underestimate how drunk they are, how extreme their drinking is, and how likely their drinking is to affect their health. Because alcohol changes the way the brain processes information, it also makes it difficult for people to make suitable decisions or assess their own behavior. For example, people who are very drunk might underestimate how intoxicated they are.

While certainly the quickest way to determine if someone is drunk, this can only be measured using specific equipment, such as a breathalyzer test or blood test. A BAC of 0.08 is the legal limit of intoxication in the United States. A person can be arrested if they are found driving with a BAC above this limit. Ethanol also increases levels of adenosine, an inhibitory neurotransmitter that promotes sleep. In every U.S. state, it is illegal to drive with a BAC of over 0.08%.

An alcohol binge can occur over hours or last up to several days. Alcohol in the form of ethanol, also called ethyl alcohol, is in alcoholic beverages. It’s also in mouthwash, some cooking extracts, some medicines and certain household products.

When Someone’s Drinking Habits Become a Problem

Additionally, there are ways to tell if you might be legally intoxicated. However, don’t try to drive if you think you might be drunk because it’s not worth the risk. Instead, take an Uber, use Lyft, or ask a sober friend for a ride. As soon as you take a sip of alcohol, it increases your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level.

As discussed, someone can engage in drinking on numerous occasions without having this serve as an indicator of alcoholism. However, if this behavior becomes a regular or habitual part of their life, this behavior may serve as one of the several common signs of an alcohol problem. Whether dealing with someone who is obviously which mental disorder is most commonly comorbid with alcoholism inebriated, or with someone who has a history of alcohol abuse, there are several signs you can look out for that may indicate their drinking habits. People cannot treat severe alcohol intoxication — or alcohol poisoning — at home. If anyone shows signs of severe intoxication, contact emergency services immediately.

Too Much Alcohol – How to Tell if Someone is Drunk

If a person’s cheeks are burning bright red, there’s a good chance that he or she has had too much to drink. One of the fastest ways to tell if someone has had too much to drink is by measuring their Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) levels. This refers to the level of alcohol present in an individual’s blood, as represented through a percentage. For some people there is nothing wrong with having a few alcoholic beverages from time to time. In fact, when consumed in moderation, alcohol can be a social lubricant. Blood alcohol content (BAC) is the unit used to measure the amount of alcohol in a person’s bloodstream.

When your neurons are exhausted, you may notice that you’re slower to respond, your movements are weaker, and you can’t concentrate. As mentioned before, alcohol takes a massive toll on the brain and body by completely slowing them down. When the liver is unable to process excess amounts of alcohol, the remaining toxins are left to travel throughout the bloodstream and to the brain — causing inebriation. As a result, parts of the brain that control things like one’s coordination are compromised.

These are mostly mental in nature, and include a loss of concentration, focus, and memory, as well as coordination. If your loved one is noticeably weak and thirsty (but continues to drink alcohol instead of water), they might be showing signs of dehydration, which is a common symptom of intoxication. If you pick up on this early on, it’s best to intercede and take them home. As they continue to drink more alcohol, the more dehydrated they will become.

However, if your friend has a more social nature to begin with, your best way of determining their sobriety is through conversation. People who develop a flushed face while drinking could have a deficiency in their ALDH2 gene — aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 gene. ALDH2 is an enzyme in your body that how to avoid another alcohol relapse enables your liver to break down a chemical compound found in alcohol called acetaldehyde. Here are the barriers you face in drinking less alcohol along with tips for overcoming them. If you have trouble reaching your goal, consider reaching out to a trusted healthcare provider for help.