How long does alcohol last?

Usually, alcohol remain in the body for about 2 hours, but this depends on several factors. Onset of effects generally occurs 30 minutes after administration…but what happens to the body and brain when you drink? We review more here.

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Alcohol metabolism, the speed at which alcohol is metabolized, and how long does alcohol work (its duration of effects) all depend upon several factors. However, onset of effects generally occurs 30 minutes after administration and one drink remains in the body for about 2 hours. But what exactly happens to the body and brain when you drink? We review more here, and invite your questions about alcohol, what does alcohol withdrawal feel like, or treatments for alcohol addiction at the end.

Alcohol effects on the body and brain

Alcohol acts as a depressant on the brain by affecting neurotransmitters in certain areas of the brain and central nervous system. Basically, alcohol facilitates the delivery of serotonin and dopamine to the brain and create reactions of relaxation, happiness, ease of mind. So what exactly happens in the brain and body when you drink?

The effects that alcohol has on your body highly depend on several factors, such your body weight, current health condition, age, and gender. However the path of alcohol absorption into the bloodstream remains the same for everyone, passing through the stomach and intestine and then slowly traveling through the blood. Then, alcohol crosses the blood-brain barrier and interacts with neurotransmitters.

Alcohol duration of action

It is estimated that a human body can process 0.25 ounces of alcohol per hour. Alcohol is absorbed quickly but metabolized very slowly in the body. This is why alcohol is detectible in body fluids for some time after administration. In urine, alcohol can be detected 12 to 24 hours after your last drink.

Usually, alcohol remains in the body for about 2 hours after consumption, although metabolism varies by person and depends on several different factors. Onset of effects occurs about 30 minutes after first administration.

How long do alcohol effects last?

The longer you drink, the longer you maintain the effects of alcohol, with higher doses of impairment. The thing about drinking for effect is that as you drink, you become less and less capable of normal functions; motoric movement are compromised, thinking is slower, vision is constantly changing, speech is becoming slurred and slower. So after a certain limit, intoxication symptoms make basic vital functions impossible. Effects of intoxication wear off and resolve within about 48-72 hours, while you go through what is known as hangover symptoms.

How long does a alcohol high last?

Feeling “high” on alcohol is equated with getting drunk, or intoxicated? Genetic factors do have their role in alcohol intoxication, as well the levels of tolerance binge drinkers and/or chronic alcoholics reach. But, in general, how long will you be drunk depends on several factors, such as:

  • the prescience of food administered before and during alcohol take
  • drinking other liquids, such as water or juices
  • the way you drink alcohol what type of alcohol you drink

For example, if a higher percentage if ethanol is taken through a straw, it is believed that the alcohol moves faster directly into the brain. Also, if you drink too fast and leave no time to the liver to process and the body to schedule excretion of the toxic fluids, you can become intoxicated with alcohol.

Alcohol high effects

The general effects of being drunk, or intoxicated, with alcohol include numbness and overall impaired body functioning. Firstly your extremities begin to feel heavy. Then, facial muscles can harden and lose flexibility (a subjective experience). Speech becomes slow, loud or too quiet, because you senses are also impaired at some level. With heavier drinking, you will directly affect the heart and liver. The heart may develop tachycardia and trigger unstable blood pressure. However, heavy drinking can also permanently destroy brain cells and interact with short-term memory loss and cognitive thinking.

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How long alcohol lasts questions

As promised, we invite you to ask us your questions about alcohol.. We will do our best to respond with a personal and prompt response.

Reference Sources: Hazardous Substances Data Bank TOXNET: Ethanol
National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration: Alcohol and Highway Safety
National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse: Alcohol’s Effects on the Body
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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