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What Happens In Your Body When You Drink? The Biology of Getting Drunk

Many adults have experienced intoxication, more commonly known as getting drunk. A biological process occurs in your body when you drink alcohol that causes intoxication. The body rapidly absorbs alcohol, mostly through the walls of the small intestine. The liver processes most alcohol. Alcohol also affects your kidneys, causing increased urination and possible dehydration, which can result in a hangover.

Most people want to know “how much is too much to drink.” The legal intoxication limit is .08 percent nationally for a person to be considered a drunk driver. Alcohol affects every person differently, depending on their sex, how much food they have eaten, their overall health and their tolerance for alcohol. Even two drinks can cause intoxication in some people.

The effects of alcohol also vary based on the amount of alcohol consumed. One or two drinks usually cause a euphoric feeling. Three to six drinks cause sleepiness and a lack of coordination. Increasing alcohol consumption results in confusion, a stupor, a coma and eventual death.

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Biology of Getting Drunk Infographic