Drinking alcohol can be a fun way to socialize with friends, but it’s important to know how long it takes to sober up after a night of drinking. The amount of time it takes to sober up depends on various factors, including your body weight, the amount of alcohol consumed, and your liver function. However, the average healthy adult liver processes one standard drink per hour.
Drinking excessively can harm your mind and body, and if you’re constantly trying to sober up but find yourself continuing to drink, you may need professional alcoholism treatment. If you or a loved one think you may be struggling with alcoholism, please contact Sheer Recovery today to discuss your treatment options.
How Does Alcohol Affect the Body?
When you drink alcohol, it enters your bloodstream and is transported to all parts of your body, including your brain. Alcohol slows down the communication between your brain cells, which is why you may feel relaxed and less inhibited when drinking.
As alcohol continues to be metabolized by your liver, it produces a toxic substance called acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde can cause headaches, nausea, and other unpleasant symptoms associated with a hangover.
Typically, the liver processes one drink per hour. However, many cocktails and popular mixed drinks contain more than just one drink. A standard drink contains about 14 grams of alcohol which equates to:
- 12 fluid ounces of regular beer (5% alcohol)
- 5 fluid ounces of wine (12% alcohol)
- 1.5 fluid ounces of distilled liquor (40% alcohol)
Drinking more than one standard drink in an hour will lead to feelings of intoxication as well as a build-up of acetaldehyde in the body.
Factors That Affect How Long It Takes to Sober Up
The amount of time it takes to sober up after drinking alcohol depends on several factors, including:
- Body Weight – The more you weigh, the more alcohol your body can handle. Alcohol is distributed throughout your body based on its water content, and people who weigh more have more water in their bodies.
- Biological sex – Women tend to be more sensitive to the effects of alcohol than men. Therefore, women will feel the effects of alcohol more quickly.
- Amount of Alcohol Consumed – The more alcohol you consume, the longer it will take to sober up. Using alcohol with other drugs may also affect how long it takes to sober up.
- Food Intake – Eating food before or while drinking can slow down the absorption of alcohol, which can help to reduce its effects.
- Liver Function – The liver is responsible for metabolizing alcohol, so if you have impaired liver function or liver disease, it will take longer for your body to break down alcohol and longer to sober up.
How Long Does it Take to Sober Up?
The liver can metabolize one standard drink per hour. So, if you have had one drink, it will take approximately one hour for your body to sober up. However, if you have had more than one drink, it will take longer for your body to metabolize the alcohol.
As a general rule, it takes about three hours for your body to metabolize two standard drinks. This means that if you have had two drinks, it will take about three hours for your body to sober up. If you have had four drinks, it will take about six hours, and so on.
It’s important to note that this is a rough estimate, and the exact amount of time it takes to sober up will vary depending on individual health and other factors.
Is There Any Way to Sober Up From Alcohol Faster?
Unfortunately, there is no guaranteed way to speed up the sobering up process. The liver can only metabolize alcohol at a certain rate, and there is nothing you can do to make it work faster.
However, there are a few things you can do to help reduce the effects of alcohol that you’ve already consumed:
- Drink plenty of water – Alcohol is dehydrating, so it’s important to drink plenty of water before, during, and after drinking alcohol. Staying hydrated can reduce the severity of a hangover, too.
- Wait it out – If you have had too much to drink, the best thing you can do is to wait it out. Give your body time to metabolize the alcohol and do not attempt to drive or operate heavy machinery until you are fully sober.
- Get some sleep – Sleep is one of the best things you can do to help your body recover from drinking alcohol. Make sure you get a good night’s sleep after drinking to allow your body time to rest and recover.
- Seek medical attention – If you or someone you know has consumed too much alcohol and is showing signs of alcohol poisoning (such as confusion, vomiting, or loss of consciousness), seek medical attention immediately. Alcohol poisoning can be life-threatening and should be treated as an emergency.
Sobering Up from Alcohol When You’re Addicted
If you have been drinking heavily for several weeks or months, you may experience symptoms of withdrawal when you sober up. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous and potentially life-threatening, so if you think you’re going to experience withdrawal when you sober up, you must seek help from a licensed alcohol detox center.
Detoxing from alcohol at home can put you at risk of seizures, hallucinations, delirium tremens (DTs), and even death. But when you seek help, medical providers can prescribe medications that keep you safe and comfortable during withdrawal. Alcohol detox centers also offer 24-hour supervision and support to further aid your recovery process.
Find a Trusted Alcohol Detox Center in California
At Sheer Recovery, your safety is our top priority. Our top-rated alcohol detox center in San Juan Capistrano, California has a team of qualified medical professionals who are dedicated to keeping you safe and comfortable as you go through withdrawal. Each client receives attentive individual care, medications based on their needs, healthy meals and activities, and supportive group and individual therapy sessions.
In addition to medical care, our facility offers private and semi-private rooms, calming ocean views, and a host of amenities that are available to aid you in your recovery journey. To learn more about our alcohol detox and rehab program in California, please reach out to us today.
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