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How Long Does Alcohol Stay In Your Blood

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Setting The Stage

To understand how long alcohol stays in your blood, you must first understand blood alcohol level.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a breathalyzer test is commonly used to detect alcohol levels, and results on such a test correlate strongly with a person’s blood alcohol concentration.

Blood alcohol concentration is reported in milligrams of alcohol per deciliter of blood, and the result is a percentage.

For example, a person’s blood alcohol content might be 0.1 percent.

Per experts, one drink can increase a person’s blood alcohol concentration by about 0.025 percent, however, a women’s blood alcohol level will climb faster than a man’s blood alcohol level.

Blood alcohol content is often used to determine how impaired a person is after consuming alcohol; 0.1 percent is the blood alcohol level that represents intoxication, whereas a person usually becomes unconscious at a blood alcohol content of 0.3 percent and is at risk of death at 0.4 percent.

Given this information, knowing how long does alcohol stay in the blood is important for understanding the safety risks associated with alcohol consumption.

So How Long Does Alcohol Stay In The Blood?

How long alcohol stays in the blood can vary between men and women. As an author for the British Medical Journal explains, women have more body fat than men and a lower blood volume, so their blood alcohol level will remain higher. Women also metabolize alcohol at a slower rate than, because their bodies contain fewer alcohol dehydrogenases, the enzymes responsible for processing alcohol.

When a person drinks on an empty stomach, peak blood alcohol levels are reached after about an hour, after which time they drop off over the next four hours. While alcohol is eliminated from the blood in the hours after drinking, a person who drinks heavily over the course of an evening may still have enough alcohol in the blood to be impaired the next morning.

Summary Of How Long Does Alcohol Stay In The Blood

How long alcohol stays in the blood can vary based upon gender and how much alcohol a person has consumed. That being said, blood testing is not a common method for determining alcohol abuse, since alcohol only remains in the blood for hours.

According to experts, professionals typically administer a breathalyzer test or look for visible signs of intoxication, such as slurred speech, to determine whether a person is under the influence of alcohol.

In general, blood testing has a limited detection window compared to other forms of testing and can detect substances used within the previous two to 12 hours, according to experts.

Why It Is Important To Know How Long Alcohol Stays In Your Blood

The reason it is important to know how long alcohol stays in your blood is that you may not realize that you are impaired by alcohol. For example, some people may believe that they are safe to drive home an hour after their last drink. As the experts report, alcohol concentrations in the blood are actually highest around an hour after drinking, and they level off over the next four hours.

This means that if you have been drinking heavily enough to bring your blood alcohol levels to a level that represents impairment, you may be too drunk to drive for several hours after drinking. Keep in mind that an especially heavy episode of drinking can cause your blood alcohol level to remain at a level that suggests impairment until the next morning following an evening of drinking.

Immediate Placement in Rehab

Cautions Regarding How Long Does Alcohol Stay In Your Blood

While alcohol generally stays in the blood for several hours and as long as until the next morning after an evening of excessive drinking, this can vary based upon a person’s gender, age, and metabolism. There are also variations based upon how much alcohol a person consumes. It is difficult to know exactly how long alcohol will stay in your blood, so it is important to exercise caution when consuming alcohol. If you are unsure what your blood alcohol content may be after consuming a drink or two, you can utilize an online blood alcohol level calculator, which can help you to estimate your blood alcohol level based upon your gender, weight, and how much alcohol you have consumed.

Is There A Safe Level Of Alcohol Consumption?

According to the National Institutes of Health, the government defines moderate alcohol consumption as one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men. Binge drinking, on the other hand, is four or more drinks in one sitting for a woman and five or more for a man. Engaging in binge drinking can increase your risk of developing an alcohol addiction and is considered a risky form of drinking.

Seeking Treatment for Alcohol Abuse

If you find that you continue to drink large quantities of alcohol and are having a hard time cutting back on your drinking, it may be time to consider an alcohol rehab program. If you are seeking treatment in the California area, Resurgence is located in Orange County and offers alcohol detox as well as inpatient and outpatient alcohol rehab. Our inpatient rehab program is offered in a home-like setting, where you will have access to a range of amenities, including local beaches, outdoor shopping, swimming pools, waterfalls, and piers. Your stay at Resurgence California will involve opportunities to participate in both individual and group counseling, therapeutic activities, and yoga and meditation sessions.

You will also receive an individualized treatment plan customized to meet your unique needs. We offer a variety of evidence-based counseling methods in our alcohol rehab, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, psychodynamic counseling, and family systems therapy, among others.

Paying for Resurgence California Alcohol Rehab

Once you make the decision to seek alcohol rehab, you will need to determine how to pay for it.

At Resurgence, we take some of the stress out of this process with our free, confidential insurance verification program.

Visit our website or give us a phone call to provide us with your insurance information, and we will inform you what services your insurance plan covers and how much you can expect to pay for Resurgence California alcohol rehab.

Once you begin treatment with us, we will collaborate with your insurance provider for you, so you can focus on recovery instead of worrying about finances.

If you do not have insurance, we will work with you to create a private payment plan, because we believe that everyone deserves high quality, affordable treatment.

Reach out to us today to discuss your options and begin your alcohol rehab journey.

Addiction Treatment that
Just Works

Individualized treatment programs delivered in a comfortable, relaxed setting promote healing in your recovery journey.

Sources:

1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64092/
2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC543875/
3) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4920965/
4) https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/moderate-binge-drinking

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