What Does It Mean to be Drunk? Stages of Drunkenness & Knowing Your Limit

The first stage of drunkenness is sobriety or subclinical intoxication. You do not show obvious signs of intoxication, but there are some signs of impairment. A BAC of 0.09 to 0.25 is referred to as the excitement stage. In this stage, a person may lose emotional stability and begin slurring their speech.

  • You think, “wow, I’m actually a super good dancer”, and you continue to dance while spilling the drinks of everyone within arm’s reach.
  • But drinking too much alcohol can lead to intoxication, and advanced stages of intoxication can lead to serious harm to your health–and even death.
  • Despite the high percentage of people who drink alcohol, very few are aware of the signs of intoxication and how the brain is affected while drinking alcohol.

Even something as simple as how much you’ve had to eat during the day can change the way you move through the stages of being drunk. Generally, though, people move through certain as they consume alcohol. In terms of amount, it doesn’t take much to begin feeling the effects of intoxication. Our body breaks ethanol down at a rate of around 15 mg/dL per hour. Our bodies can metabolize roughly one (1) drink per hour on average while maintaining low levels of intoxication, to put things simply.

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A BAC of 0.03 to 0.12 can also result in some sensory-motor impairment, as well as a loss of performance efficiency when being administered a sobriety test. They are best for people who have a high motivation to recover and cannot leave their responsibilities at home, work, or school. Outpatient programs are often part of aftercare programs once you complete an inpatient or PHP program. For outpatient treatment to be effective, the person needs to have a stable home situation that is supportive of recovery. Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) provide similar services to inpatient programs. Services include medical care, behavioral therapy, and support groups, along with other customized therapies.

stages of intoxication

Sobriety occurs when you have a BAC between 0.01 and 0.05 percent. It usually means you have had 1 drink or less in the past hour. In some countries, there are special facilities, sometimes known as “drunk tanks”, for the temporary detention of persons found to be drunk. Additional medication may be indicated for treatment of nausea, tremor, and anxiety.

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It can be hard to decide if you think someone is drunk enough to need medical help. But it’s best to take action right away rather than be sorry later. You may worry about what will happen to you or a friend or family member, especially if underage. But the results of not getting help in time can be far more serious.

What are the 5 stages of intoxication?

  • Reduced Awareness, Information Processing, and Visual Acuity.
  • Stages of Intoxication.
  • Reduced Muscle Coordination (BAC = 0.09 to 0.25 percent)
  • Confusion (BAC = 0.18 to 0.30 percent)
  • Stupor (BAC = 0.25 to 0.49 percent)
  • Coma (BAC = 0.35 to 0.50 percent)
  • Death (BAC = 0.50 + percent)

This stage usually occurs in men after three to five drinks per hour and in women after two to four drinks per hour. Should an individual still be in a public setting, those around them may notice them dealing with a greater sense of dysphoria and disorientation. At blood alcohol levels of 0.18 to 0.30, the heightened pain threshold makes this stage even more dangerous, as a person could get severely injured and not even realize it yet. As stated before, the physicality of the person drinking will also play a part.

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We base differences on several things, like genetics, body weight, frequency of intoxication, overall general health, and more. Of course, the severity of a person’s symptoms will depend on how much they have had to drink. If you or someone you know experiences stages of alcohol intoxication these symptoms, seek medical help right away. When left untreated, alcohol poisoning can cause brain damage or death. At this stage, you may not feel intoxicated at all. However, some people experience slight impairments in judgment and reaction time.