How To Sober Up Fast? How Does The Body Metabolize Alcohol? Tips To Safe Drinking
Best Ways To Avoid Intoxication
What is sobriety? Drinking can be fun. But too much alcohol can lead to injury, accidents, serious embarrassment, and long-term health problems. Is alcohol a drug? Even drinking small amounts of alcohol increases your cancer risk. Drinking, whether with friends, family, colleagues, or acquaintances, can be fun and challenging, especially if one can’t hold his liquor well. If you’re less of a social drinker or need to stay longer in an event or gathering with alcohol involved, here are some tips you can keep in mind to avoid getting too intoxicated.
Avoid drinking with an empty stomach
When your stomach is full or has enough food inside, your enzyme has enough time to digest alcohol. On the other hand, if your stomach is empty, alcohol will be less digested, and more will head to your bloodstream, leading to faster intoxication.
Control your alcohol intake
Sip and drink, don’t chug. Instead, learn to savor the alcohol’s flavors, and in doing so, you have a higher chance of lasting longer in social drinking. A drink could be a shot, a beer, a glass of wine, or a mixed drink. Whatever it is, try and only drink one per hour. This will prevent you from getting drunk since your liver can metabolize the alcohol and get it out of your system in an hour. If you stick to this schedule you’ll be able to drink casually but stay sober.
Set a limit for the night based on your alcohol tolerance
Set your limit well in advance and stick to it. If you know that you’re drunk after 3 beers, then you need to space those beers out far enough to avoid getting wasted. Everyone handles alcohol differently, so there is no perfect number to stick to. When in doubt, know that the recommended amounts are 3 drinks for men and 2 for women.
Drink water before, between, and after drinks
Water is proven to help alcohol absorption and breakdown and gives you something to drink before refilling your cup. Aim to drink a glass of water before each drink, then have a glass between drinks as well.
Protein can help slow down alcohol absorption
For bar chow, it is highly recommended to eat small cuts of meat, cheese, food with eggs, and nuts.
Avoid quietly drinking
If it’s a social gathering, get social! Stay active. Standing up once in a while, walking around, and talking to people helps lessen your awareness or consciousness of the effects of alcohol.
Have a partner
See if a buddy is looking to drink the same amount as you and avoid getting drunk. You can look out for each other, gently cutting the other off if things seem to get out of hand. It also makes it easier to stay sober if everyone around you is getting sober, but you have your buddy on your level.
Is There A Safe Approach To Drinking?
A large new global study has confirmed previous research, which has shown that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption. Although the researchers admit that moderate drinking may protect against heart disease, the risk of cancer and other diseases outweighs these protections.
Analyzing data from 15 to 95-year-olds, the researchers compared people who did not drink at all with those who had one alcoholic drink a day. They found that out of 100,000 non-drinkers, 914 would develop an alcohol-related health problem such as cancer or suffer an injury.
Previous studies have found a protective effect of alcohol on some conditions, but we found that the combined health risks associated with alcohol increase with any amount of alcohol. The strong association between alcohol consumption and the risk of cancer, injuries, and infectious diseases offset the protective effects of heart disease.
Given the pleasure presumably associated with moderate drinking, claiming there is no ‘safe’ level does not seem an argument for abstention. Of course, there is no safe level of driving, but the government does not recommend that people avoid driving. Come to think of it, there is no safe level of living, but nobody would recommend abstention.
How Does The Body Metabolize Alcohol?
Alcohol metabolism is controlled by genetic factors, such as variations in the enzymes that break down alcohol, and environmental factors, such as the amount of alcohol an individual consumes and his or her overall nutrition . Differences in alcohol metabolism may put some people at greater risk for alcohol problems, whereas others may be at least somewhat protected from alcohol’s harmful effects.
Alcohol is metabolized by several processes or pathways. The most common of these pathways involves two enzymes—alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH). These enzymes help break apart the alcohol molecule, making it possible to eliminate it from the body. First, ADH metabolizes alcohol to acetaldehyde, a highly toxic substance, and a known carcinogen. Then, acetaldehyde is further metabolized down to another, a less active byproduct called acetate, which then is broken down into water and carbon dioxide for easy elimination .
Small amounts of alcohol also are removed by interacting with fatty acids to form compounds called fatty acid ethyl esters (FAEEs). These compounds have been shown to contribute to damage to the liver and pancreas. Some alcohol metabolism also occurs in other tissues, including the pancreas, and the brain, causing damage to cells and tissues. Additionally, small amounts of alcohol are metabolized to acetaldehyde in the gastrointestinal tract, exposing these tissues to acetaldehyde’s damaging effects.
Myths About Sobering Up Fast
When you’re drunk, alcohol has accumulated in your bloodstream because your liver hasn’t had time to process and break it down yet. The blood alcohol level is measured by the weight of alcohol in a certain volume of blood. The result of this measurement is called blood alcohol concentration, or BAC. It’s illegal in every U.S. state to drive with a BAC of 0.08 or higher.
Trying to sober up fast for driving isn’t a good idea. Your BAC will remain high until your liver has time to process the alcohol and get it out of your blood. You could be pulled over and charged with drunk driving or, worse, get into a serious car accident harming yourself or others.
An estimated 29 people in the United States die every day in alcohol-related car accidents — that’s one person every 50 minutes. So, keeping in mind that nothing you can do will lower your BAC except time, let’s look at some common myths about how you can sober up fast:
Myth: Drink strong coffee to sober up
Alcohol makes you sleepy. Caffeine is a stimulant that can make you feel more awake, but it doesn’t speed up the metabolism of alcohol. In fact, drinking caffeine can be dangerous because it tricks people into thinking they’re sober enough to drive. Mixing alcohol with energy drinks is equally, if not more, dangerous.
Myth: Take a cold shower to sober up
Taking a cold shower is another way to wake yourself up. A cold shower can give you a second wind, but it’s not going to reverse the effects of alcohol. In some cases, the shock of a cold shower can actually cause people to lose consciousness.
Myth: Eat fatty foods to sober up
Alcohol is absorbed through the stomach lining. If you have a stomach full of fatty food when you start drinking, the alcohol will be absorbed into your bloodstream more slowly. But, alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream in about 10 minutes. Once the alcohol is in your blood, it’s too late for food to have any effect. Plus, fatty foods and alcohol combined can cause diarrhea.
Myth: Throw up to sober up
Throwing up won’t reduce your blood alcohol level. Alcohol is absorbed into your bloodstream very quickly, so unless you vomit immediately after taking a sip, it won’t make much difference. But, drinking too much can make you feel nauseous. And throwing up often helps relieve nausea.
How To Sober Up
What does “sobering up” mean? When someone consumes excessive amounts of alcohol or another type of drug, they need time to sober up to function as usual. While there are some ways to improve mental and physical functioning in the short term, it’s almost always impossible to sober up quickly.
Even if a person uses methods to enhance their alertness and awareness, they should not drive or make important decisions until the effects are entirely flushed out of their system. Depending on how much alcohol or other drugs were consumed, it can take hours for the substances to be excreted out of the body.
Caffeine is a stimulant that causes increased awareness. But it doesn’t decrease the amount of alcohol the liver needs to metabolize, so intoxication still occurs. Drinking plenty of water is also crucial for hydration.
Take a Cold Shower
Having a cold shower does not reduce BAC levels. But it can make a person feel more awake and alert for a short timeframe.
However, if you experience alcohol poisoning, never take a cold shower. Studies have shown that alcohol poisoning causes brain damage, aggravated by exposure to cold. The low temperatures cause more harm by stopping essential brain function and control, potentially leading to death.
Sleep is one the most effective way for someone to heal from the effects of alcohol. Rest allows the body to recover and recuperate. As the body rests from excessive amounts of alcohol, even taking a brief nap can help with metabolization. Generally, the more sleep a person has, the soberer they will feel.
Exercise can help wake up the body and make a person more alert. It may also help metabolize alcohol more quickly, although the scientific evidence of this is inconclusive.
Carbon or charcoal capsules
Some people have reported carbon or charcoal capsules, which can be found in health food stores, help with sobering up. However, there is no evidence to back this up.
Tips To Safe Drinking
1. Count your drinks
Keeping track of how many drinks you’ve had can really help. People often lose count or forget that they took a shot. Try putting beer caps in your pocket, carrying a pen and writing tick marks on your hand, or using a simple notepad app on your phone to mark each drink.
2. Measure your drinks
A standard drink is one 12-ounce beer, one 4-ounce glass of wine, or one 1.5-ounce shot of hard liquor. Many cocktails contain more than one shot. A generous pour of wine often amounts to two standard drinks.
Keep in mind that beers vary in alcohol percentage, so an IPA with 9 percent alcohol will count more than a light beer with 4 percent alcohol.
3. Alter what you drink
To avoid getting too drunk, stick with drinks that have a low alcohol content, such as light beer. Try avoiding mixed drinks and drinking only beer for the night. Shots of hard liquor get you drunk very fast, so avoid them.
4. Alter how you drink
Slow down! Stick with drinks that take a while to finish, like beer and wine. If you can, stick to one drink per hour. Try drinking a glass of water, soda, or juice in between alcoholic drinks. Spacing out your drinks allows your liver time to break down the alcohol.
5. Eat something!
When you start drinking on an empty stomach, the alcohol is absorbed very quickly. Try eating a meal high in carbs or fats before drinking. Also, it may help to continue snacking as the night goes on.
How To Sober Up Permanently
Many people want to know the secret of sobering up fast. There are many ideas out there that claim to have solved the problem. However, none are backed by science. There is nothing you can do to quicken the way your liver breaks down the alcohol in your blood. Unfortunately, sobering up fast is not an option.
Alcohol can be an addictive substance. Not everyone who consumes alcohol will become addicted. However, certain people may be more susceptible to addiction. For example, an individual who abuses alcohol may only drink once a week. However, when that individual drinks, they may put themselves in risky situations or drink enough to cause problems.
Addiction is a chronic disease that involves uncontrolled, continued substance pursuit and use despite any harmful consequences. Individuals who suffer from alcohol addiction are often diagnosed with an alcohol use disorder (AUD), and they may also have developed a dependency on alcohol.
Drug and alcohol addiction can be treated. However, it is not simple. Addiction is a chronic illness, so people cannot stop using drugs for a couple of days and expect to be cured. Most patients require long-term or repeated care to recover their lives and maintain sobriety. Here are some common treatments for alcohol and drug addiction.
Detox is often considered the first stage of alcohol treatment. It will help you navigate the complicated process of alcohol withdrawal, but it doesn’t address patterns of thought and behavior that contribute to alcohol use. Various treatment approaches and settings can help provide the ongoing support necessary to maintain long-term sobriety after you complete detox.
Cravings are very common during detox and can be challenging to overcome. This often leads to relapse. Constant medical care provided during inpatient treatment helps prevent relapse. Clinicians can provide necessary medication and medical expertise to lessen cravings and the effects of alcohol withdrawals.
Medication-Assisted Treatments (MAT) for alcohol use disorder and mental health disorder are commonly used in conjunction with one another. This includes the use of medications and other medical procedures. During your rehab, the staff from your treatment facility will help you identify what caused your addiction and teach you skills that will help you change your behavior patterns and challenge the negative thoughts that led to your addiction. Sometimes, the pressures and problems in your life lead you to rely on substances to help you forget about them momentarily.
Integrated Mental Health Care
Alcohol affects mental health, so people may use it to self-medicate undiagnosed disorders. Rehab centers typically provide mental health screenings, diagnoses, and integrated treatment for co-occurring disorders. In addition, holistic and therapeutic approaches are often used to treat recovering addicts with these conditions.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) can improve addicts’ behavior. CBT targets negative and maladaptive thought patterns as it promotes positive emotions and beliefs, while DBT helps clients address conflicting impulses so they can make healthy choices. Both therapies treat substance abuse and mental health disorders. Therapy also empowers clients to identify, avoid and mitigate cues that trigger drug cravings.
Individual and Group Counseling
Addiction and mental health counseling occur in both individual and group settings. One-on-one treatment sessions may address unresolved trauma, unconscious conflicts, and specific struggles, while group sessions often involve training in life skills, stress management, conflict resolution, and social connections. Group counseling also gives clients the chance to share their thoughts and experiences to develop social support, which is essential for lasting recovery
You are always in search of ways how to sober up fast. You may not realize that drinking alcohol causes brain damage. If you have apprehensions to quit drinking because you’re nervous about the effects of alcohol withdrawal, then talk to one of our addiction specialists. Please, do not try to detox on your own because the detox process can be painful and difficult without medical assistance. If you or someone you know regularly exceeds these recommended daily limits or is experiencing effects of alcohol withdrawal, it is important to intervene early. We Level Up NJ has addiction specialists that are standing by to help.