Six Stages Of Alcohol Intoxication

alcohol intoxication

The Effects of Alcohol

Intoxication can have a number of effects on a person, particularly on the brain, as it is very sensitive to alcohol. Treatment for alcoholism is sometimes necessary for people addicted to this substance. Alcohol has nearly immediate effects on the body. The reason for this is that it requires no digestion, unlike other foods. The higher the blood alcohol content is in the body, the greater the effects of alcohol. We see these varying degrees of intoxication below:

  1. Euphoria
    Difficulty concentrating
    Lowered inhibitions
    Brighter color in the face
    Fine motor skills are lacking
  2. Excitement
    Senses are dulled
    Poor coordination
    Beginnings of erratic behavior
    Slow reaction time
    Impaired judgment
  3. Confusion
    Exaggerated emotions
    Difficulty walking
    Blurred vision
    Slurred speech
    Pain is dulled
  4. Stupor
    Cannot stand or walk
    Unconsciousness is possible
    Decreased response to stimuli
  5. Coma
    Low body temperature
    Possible death
    Shallow breathing
    Slow pulse
  6. Death
    Death as a result of respiratory arrest

What is Blood Alcohol Content?

Blood alcohol content (BAC) is the amount of alcohol in the bloodstream. If someone were to have a BAC of .10, this would mean that one-tenth of 1% of the blood in their body is alcohol. The more alcohol a person consumes the more intoxicated and impaired they become. Over time, if alcohol use is frequent, addiction can result. In these cases, alcohol treatment rehab is often needed.

Alcohol percentage is determined by the amount of alcohol consumed, the time in which the alcohol was consumed, and body weight. Eating prior to, or while drinking, may also temporarily influence BAC, reducing its effects. Typically, men require more alcohol to achieve the same BAC as women. Men require more alcohol to achieve these same effects because they are heavier and have a higher percentage of water per pound in their bodies. Alcohol addiction is problem often recognized far too late, however, once its symptoms are recognized it is important to seek treatment from an alcohol rehabilitation center as soon as possible.

Treating Alcohol Intoxication

Of course, long-term rehabilitation for alcoholism is the ultimate goal. However, if you have a loved one who gets intoxicated, you should also know how to give short-term help to prevent the intoxication from progressing to the later stages that can cause a medical crisis.

If you are at all concerned about your loved one’s physical or mental condition because of alcohol impairment, do not let them leave your sight, especially if they insist on driving themselves home. If you think it’s a case of extreme alcohol intoxication, call 911 immediately. If your loved one is still conscious, see if you can get him to lie down on his side or drink a little water. If your friend has lost consciousness, it’s necessary to get her onto her side to prevent her from potentially choking on vomit, which can lead to death.

Getting professional medical help is necessary in situations of extreme alcohol intoxication. That’s because paramedics, physicians, and other medical staff can administer certain treatments to help mitigate the effects of intoxication. Those can include oxygen therapy, a breathing tube that keeps airways clear, or IV fluids for dehydration. If alcohol intoxication has progressed to a critical level, activated charcoal may help stop the devastating effects of alcohol from moving further along or the stomach may need to be pumped to clear its contents.

For severe cases of alcohol intoxication, your loved one may be kept in the hospital for observation. Even after being released, his body will still need to recover from the incident—it may affect mood, appetite, and brain function. While prompt medical treatment can help someone who is extremely intoxicated from alcohol, that is only a short-term solution. If a loved one is habitually struggling with alcohol intoxication, you must speak to him about alcohol rehabilitation treatment. A qualified, experienced treatment facility such as Casa Palmera offers exceptional recovery programs that can help your loved one work towards sobriety. Call for more information today.


This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be a substitute for medical advice. We understand that everyone’s situation is unique, and this content is to provide an overall understanding of substance use disorders. These disorders are very complex, and this post does not take into account the unique circumstances for every individual. For specific questions about your health needs or that of a loved one, seek the help of a healthcare professional.