How much alcohol will kill me? When alcohol kicks in?
A few days back I answered these 2 questions to one of my friends. I got this question today again on our website. How Much Alcohol Will Kill me?
Since New Year is around the corner, I couldn’t find any better time to answer this question. But I decided to write an article so everyone who is waiting to have booze at the New Year party can understand this mystery of alcohol and hopefully will try to limit the amount.
So first let’s try to answer various commonly asked questions about alcohol.
How alcohol is metabolized in your body?
It is absorbed in your stomach and small gut. Then it goes into the blood which carries it to the liver. If you have taken alcohol with food then some of it will be absorbed by your food which will slow down its absorption in the blood. The liver, one of the largest organs in our body, is the one that will break down your alcohol and help you detoxify your body. Depending on your body weight, age, gender, type of drink, and whether you took alcohol with food or empty stomach, the liver can take a variable amount of time to metabolize alcohol. But as a general rule, the liver takes an hour to metabolize one glass of drink.
How long does alcohol stay in your body?
It stays for 6 hours in blood, stays in urine and saliva for 12-24 hours, and can be tested in your breath for 12-24 hours. As far as hair are concerned, it can be detected in hair for as long as 90 days.
How Long Does It Take for Alcohol to Kick In?
If you are a healthy man with a normal gut and not taking any medicines then it usually takes 15 to 45 minutes for alcohol to kick in. If you have little or no tolerance to alcohol, then you will start experiencing the effect of alcohol when the alcohol level in your blood reaches 0.05% (measured as BAC -Blood Alcohol Concentration). Your ability to drive will take a serious hit when the alcohol level reaches 0.07% and you will start showing clear signs of a drunk man (intoxicated) when the level reaches 0.10%.
As far as women are concerned, a 65-70kg woman will become drunk (intoxicated) when her blood alcohol level will reach 0.1% if she takes 4 drinks within an hour.
How will You Know that You’re Drunk?
Your speech will be slurry, your coordination and balance will take a serious hit, you will forget things, get confused, you will start experiencing breathing problems because alcohol causes respiratory depression.
If you are drunk, then you are prone to motor vehicle accidents, violence, unprotected sex, and even suicidal and homicidal tendencies are seen in many.
How Long Does It Take to Get alcohol Out of Your System?
Your liver breaks down alcohol with the help of an enzyme known as alcohol dehydrogenase. In the case of men, the liver can break down 1 standard drink in an hour (standard drink = 0.015g per 100ml). Therefore the liver will reduce your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) by 0.015% per hour. Not only that, about 10% of alcohol is eliminated in sweat, urine, and breath.
What is a standard drink?
Depending on the source of alcohol, a standard drink is
- 12 fl oz of regular beer.
- 8-9 fl oz of malt liquor.
- 5 fl oz of wine.
- 1.5 fl oz shot of distilled spirits (gin, rum, tequila, vodka, whiskey).
Does Drinking Water or Coffee Help You Sober Up?
No, it has no effect on how your body processes alcohol. Coffee may make you more alert but won’t affect the metabolism of alcohol. Your blood alcohol level will continue to rise as long as you are taking more alcohol than your body can metabolize.
When Is Alcohol No Longer Detected on a Test?
For those who have to get tested for alcohol after their party, alcohol can be tested in your blood for up to 6 hours, 12-24 hours in a breath analyzer, urine, and saliva. If your urine is being tested by new methods then they can detect end products of alcohol in urine up to more than 72 hours. Alcohol can be detected in hair for up to 90 days.
Now let’s answer the most interesting and frequently asked question about alcohol.
How Much Alcohol Will Kill You?
Alcohol will kill you when its blood concentration reaches enough level to shut down your heart and respiratory system. For most people, this BAC level ranges from 0.31% to 0.45%. At this level, there is a great risk of dying from shut down of breathing, heart function, and lower body temperature.
Risk of dying from Alcohol overdose increases when you take 4 drinks in 2 hours (if you are a female) and 5 drinks in 2 hours (if you are a male).
The risk of alcohol overdose increases manyfold when someone mixes alcohol with painkillers, sleep medications, or anti-anxiety drugs. These drugs can shut down your respiratory system and heart even when taken with a moderate amount of alcohol.
SO it’s a request to everyone if you want to drink, Drink responsibly. One day of fun can cause forever pain for your loved ones. Do share this Q&A with your loved ones to make them more aware. HAVE A SAFE PARTY !!
If you have any question, you can ask here on our page Free Health Consultation.
. Bowling Green State University. Alcohol Metabolism.
. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2006). Substance Abuse: Clinical Issues in Intensive Outpatient Treatment.
. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Overview of Alcohol Consumption.
. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. (2018). Understanding the Dangers of Alcohol Overdose.
. United Kingdom National Health Service. (2018). How long does alcohol stay in your blood?
. American Society of Addiction Medicine. (2013). Drug Testing: A White Paper of the American Society of Addiction Medicine.
. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2018). Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States: Results from the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. (2018). Alcohol Facts and Statistics.