Does Alcohol Stay in the Body Longer Than Previously Thought?

Does Alcohol Stay in the Body Longer Than Previously Thought?

The body does not process alcohol as fast as some people might think. This means people who drink then drive may be putting themselves at greater risk. Just drinking water after having four beers for the rest of the night might not be enough to help the body get rid of the alcohol in the system to make it safe. Alcohol use can harm the liver. It also puts stress on the body’s organs. Here’s why you should consider how long alcohol stays in the body before drinking.

Liver’s Job

The main goal for the liver is to filter blood flowing from the digestive tract to the body. It breaks down alcohol and helps the body process toxins. Heavy drinking can make the liver fatty and cause scarring that may restrict blood flow. This may cause liver cells to die and halt liver function.

Metabolizing Alcohol

How long alcohol stays in the system depends on the individual’s ability to metabolize it. Blood alcohol content (BAC) can be lower for some people with a few drinks than others. It is calculated as a percentage of the grams of alcohol consumed per every 100 milliliters of blood. Getting rid of alcohol altogether from the body is different for each person but it may take longer than people think it should:

  • Alcohol is detectable up to 6 hours in the blood
  • Alcohol is detectable up to 12-24 hours in breath, urine, and saliva
  • Alcohol is detectable up to 90 days in hair

Just because a hangover has happened does not mean someone cannot test for alcohol in the system. Wine has more units of alcohol than other types of alcohol. Wine and beer are different than other forms of alcohol. The key is to know how the body metabolizes alcohol and when it is time to slow down and take it easy. 

Finding Hope

Tracking how much is consumed is only one part of the equation. If a person tracks how much they drink, they still might underestimate how much they drank and make poor decisions off that. Most people are poor gauges of their own behavior. If it is discovered a person regularly drinks too much, that might signal it is time to find help for dependency issues or addiction. 

Finding hope and healing in recovery is necessary for people who are struggling with drugs or alcohol. If you are having a hard time quitting drinking or drugs, we have resources and support to help you heal. Call us to find out more: 866-848-3001.