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What constitutes alcohol intoxication?

What constitutes alcohol intoxication and what are signs and symptoms to look for?

When you take a drink of alcohol:
What is the path it takes in the body to cause the effects it does?
What factors may determine how "blitzed" you get?
How long does it take the alcohol to get out of your system so that you are no longer impaired?
-Are there things (coffee, cold shower, etc.) that can speed that process up?

Solution Preview

1.Signs/Symptoms of alcohol intoxication include:

Alcohol is a generic term for ethanol, which is a particular type of alcohol produced by the fermentation of many foodstuffs?most commonly barley, hops, and grapes. Other types of alcohol commonly available such as methanol (common in glass cleaners), isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol), and ethylene glycol (automobile antifreeze solution) are highly poisonous when swallowed, even in small quantities. Ethanol produces intoxication because of its depressive effects on various areas of the brain causing these impairments in a progressive order as the person gets more and more drunk:

Disinhibition of normal social functioning (excessive talking, showing off)

Loss of memory



Movement not coordinated

Progressive lethargy


Ultimately the shutdown of the respiratory centers (death)

Alcohol intoxication is defined as: public intoxication is when a person appears in a public place while intoxicated to the degree that the person may endanger the person or another. The law also says that a place licensed or permitted under the alcoholic beverage code is a public place.

2.The Path of Alcohol in the body

Mouth: alcohol enters the body.
Stomach: some alcohol gets into the bloodstream in the stomach, but most goes on to the small intestine.
Small Intestine: alcohol enters the bloodstream through the walls of the small intestine.
Heart: pumps alcohol throughout the body.
Brain: alcohol reaches the brain.
Liver: alcohol is oxidized by the liver at a rate of about 0.5 oz per hour.
Alcohol is converted into ...

Solution Summary

The expert determines what constitutes alcohol intoxication. The signs and symptoms to look for are determined.