Drug and Alcohol

How to Get Alcohol Out of Your System: How to Avoid Alcohol Poisoning and More

How to Get Alcohol Out of Your System

Ever wonder how to get alcohol out of your system? It isn't as easy as you may think...plus you may want to reconsider your drinking, too.

Have you ever had one too many drinks and felt the effects of alcohol linger in your body for longer than you wanted? Whether it was a wild night out with friends or a few glasses of wine at dinner, getting alcohol out of your system can sometimes feel like an impossible task. But fear not, there are steps you can take to help speed up the process.

Before we start, however, we'd like to ask you a question:

Why are you reading this blog?

If you're in a situation where you need to get alcohol out of your system often, it might be time to reconsider your relationship with drinking.

Get Alcohol Out of Your System: What Is Alcohol?

When discussing alcoholic beverages, "alcohol" refers to the chemical compound ethanol, often known as ethyl alcohol or C2H5OH. It is a psychoactive substance used for various activities and as a solvent in medicinal items.

Carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms make up ethanol. It is a flammable, colorless liquid with a unique taste and odor. Ethyl alcohol is the form of alcohol present in alcoholic beverages; other varieties of alcohol, such as isopropyl alcohol or methanol, can be dangerous to humans.

Get Alcohol Out of Your System: How Does Alcohol Work?

When taken, ethanol primarily has an impact on the central nervous system. It interacts with the brain's neurotransmitter systems, especially the GABA and glutamate systems, to produce its effects. These interactions result in feelings of relaxation, reduced inhibitions, and impaired cognitive and motor function.

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Get Alcohol Out of Your System: A Brief History of Alcohol

Alcohol has a long history of human consumption, dating back thousands of years. It has been used as a social enhancer in leisure activities and religious ceremonies. Wine, beer, and spirits have all been created and enjoyed by many cultures throughout history.

Societies have created rules and laws governing the production, distribution, and consumption of alcohol across time. These laws frequently differ significantly between nations and regions. They include topics including the legal drinking age, restrictions on the sale of alcohol, and consequences for drunken driving.

Medical specialists occasionally recommend alcohol-containing solutions for specific medical reasons. For instance, certain cough syrups include trace levels of alcohol.

The most popular way to take alcohol is through alcoholic beverages. Beer has a lower alcohol by volume (ABV) percentage than wine, but spirits (such as vodka or whiskey) have more significant ABV percentages than alcoholic beverages. Additionally, alcohol can be consumed in a concentrated form, like shots or cocktails.

Get Alcohol Out of Your System: What Is Alcohol Poisoning?

When a person drinks a lot of alcohol briefly, they can experience alcohol poisoning. This dangerous condition could be life-threatening. It occurs when the body's capacity to handle and metabolize alcohol is overpowered by the amount of alcohol accumulated in the bloodstream. The important processes of the body can be negatively impacted by this.

Signs of Alcohol Poisoning

  • Confusion or stupor

  • Drowsiness

  • Coma

  • Vomiting

  • Seizures

  • Slow or irregular breathing

  • Hypothermia

  • Unresponsiveness

  • Hypoglycemia

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Why Is Alcohol Poisoning Dangerous?

Alcohol poisoning is dangerous for several reasons:

Depressed Central Nervous System

The central nervous system, which regulates essential processes like breathing, heart rate, and body temperature, is depressed by alcohol. It can turn life-threatening if these functions are significantly compromised.


Severe dehydration can result from vomiting, and someone unconscious faces the danger of breathing in vomit, which can obstruct their airway and make them suffocate.

Irregular Heartbeat

Alcohol poisoning can cause cardiac arrest by interfering with the heart's natural rhythm.

What to Do If You Suspect Alcohol Poisoning?

You should seek quick medical assistance if you feel someone has alcohol poisoning. This is what you need to do:

Call 911

Make an immediate call to emergency services.

Stay with the Person

Keep the individual company, keep them alert, and keep them sitting up if feasible.

Do Not Give Them Food or Water.

Providing them with food or drink will not solve the problem or worsen it.

Turn Them on Their Side

Flip them onto their side to avoid choking on vomit if the individual is unconscious.

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How to Get Alcohol Out of Your System Safely

Sometimes, you might find yourself in a situation where you've had too much to drink and want to feel normal again. Here's a simple guide to help you understand how to get alcohol out of your system:


When you consume alcohol, it takes time for your body to get rid of it. It's similar to having a large meal in that you can't make it go away right away. The typical time it takes for your body to eliminate one normal drink of alcohol is roughly an hour.

Drink Water

Alcohol may dehydrate you and make you incredibly thirsty. So, sip on water or other alcohol-free beverages.

Grab a Bite

Food intake acts as a brake on the absorption of alcohol. It can make you feel less drunk by slowing down how quickly your body absorbs alcohol. Additionally, it aids your body in better metabolizing alcohol.

Rest Up

A long nap or a good night's sleep might do wonders if you are experiencing the effects of drinking. While you sleep, your body continues to detoxify alcohol.

Forget Quick Fixes

Coffee, cold showers, or going to the gym won't help alcohol leave your system more quickly. Although they may help you feel more alert, they do not quicken the process.

Know Your Limits

Avoiding alcohol overconsumption in the first place is the greatest approach to avoid the entire "how to get rid of alcohol" situation. Recognize your limitations and avoid going beyond them.

Get Help if Needed

Don't play around if you or your friend ever consumes too much alcohol and shows highly odd behavior, such as excessive vomiting, extreme confusion, difficulty breathing, or passing out. Call 911 or get straight to the hospital. Alcohol poisoning is severe, and it may be quite dangerous.

Get Alcohol Out of Your System: Alcohol Detox

Alcohol detox is a procedure that aids in the slow and safe removal of alcohol from the body. It's frequently the initial step for those who wish to cut back on or quit consuming alcohol. Here's what you should understand about alcohol detox:

If a person has a problem with alcohol or has been drinking heavily for a long time and wants to stop, they may require alcohol detox. When a person's body becomes habituated to drinking alcohol continuously, stopping without medical consultation can cause painful and even dangerous withdrawal symptoms.

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Get Alcohol Out of Your System: What Happens During Alcohol Detox

A person quits consuming alcohol during alcohol detox. This enables their body to eliminate the alcohol that is currently in it. If the individual has been drinking heavily, do this under medical supervision because severe withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous.

Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal

A person may have withdrawal symptoms if they quit consuming alcohol. These alcohol withdrawal symptoms might include shaking, sweating, anxiety, and nausea. Seizures or hallucinations are examples of more severe withdrawal symptoms. Doctors can help in safely managing these symptoms.

How Long Does Alcohol Detox Last?

Depending on how much and how long a person has been drinking, different periods may be required for alcohol detox. The body may need up to a week or longer to thoroughly remove alcohol.

Medical Supervision

Medical personnel should supervise the detox process to monitor the patient's health, administer medicine as necessary, and assure their safety.

After Detox

Recovery from an alcohol use problem doesn't end with detox. Many people continue with counseling, therapy, or support groups after detox to help them stay alcohol-free and address the causes of their drinking.

Never Attempt Detox Alone

Never try to detox from alcohol by yourself, especially if you are having serious withdrawal symptoms. It's a medical procedure that needs supervision and guidance to be successful and safe.

Get Alcohol Out of Your System: What Is Alcohol Use Disorder?

Alcohol Use Disorder, or AUD, is when someone has a major problem with alcohol. It happens when drinking begins to seriously interfere with a person's life. The inability to control one's drinking, even when it's causing them issues, the need for increasing amounts of alcohol to have the same results, and the feeling of sickness when one tries to quit are all warning signs.

AUD may ruin a person's daily life, relationships, and health. The good news is that someone dealing with AUD can get support and improve their situation.

Lexapro and Alcohol

Lexapro is a medicine for people who feel sad or anxious a lot. It can be dangerous when used with alcohol. Alcohol might make Lexapro less effective and make you feel drowsy or lightheaded. Thus, the majority of medical professionals advise against drinking while using Lexapro.

However, it would help if you spoke with your doctor for any queries or worries regarding this combination. They can guide you in determining what is safe for you.

Amoxicillin and Alcohol

Amoxicillin is an antibiotic that helps your body fight off infections. When it comes to amoxicillin and alcohol, a little alcohol consumption is typically fine. But going overboard with drinking can make the medicine less effective. It might give you an uneasy stomach or make you dizzy. Following your doctor's advice is good since they can tell you whether drinking is safe while taking amoxicillin.

And if you're dealing with a serious infection, it's often best to skip alcohol until you're all better. Always play it safe and talk to your doctor or pharmacist if unsure.

Get Alcohol Out of Your System: The Edge Treatment Center Treats Alcohol Abuse and More

We want to emphasize that getting alcohol out of your system quickly should not be a long-term strategy for drinking. If you find yourself needing to get alcohol out of your system on a regular basis, it may be a sign of underlying issues with alcohol abuse. In this case, seeking professional help at The Edge Treatment Center could be the best course of action.

At The Edge, we offer comprehensive treatment programs for alcohol addiction and other related issues. Our team of experienced professionals will work with you to address the root causes of your substance abuse and provide personalized care to help you achieve long-term recovery.

Flexibility is a guiding principle at The Edge Treatment Center. Recognizing the demands of clients, we offer personalized scheduling options, allowing individuals to balance their treatment with work, education, and other responsibilities.

Family involvement is central to The Edge Treatment Center's approach as well. By promoting family-friendly visits and counseling sessions, we create an environment of support that encourages healing and strengthens familial bonds.

If you’d like to learn more about our evidence-based treatment for alcohol abuse, reach out to The Edge Treatment Center today.

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If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, there is hope. Our team can guide you on your journey to recovery. Call us today.

Written by

brian-mooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

jeremy-arztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

Drug and Alcohol

November 4, 2023