Signs a Person Is Drunk. An image of a man looking upset whilst holding a tumbler glass containing what appears to be whiskey.

When it comes to signs a person is drunk, they can range from glaringly obvious to deceptively subtle.

Understanding Alcohol Intoxication: A Brief Overview

Alcohol intoxication is a state of physical and mental impairment caused by the consumption of alcohol. It is characterised by various symptoms, including slurred speech, impaired coordination, and slowed reaction time. In more severe cases, intoxication of alcohol can lead to coma and death.

Alcohol affects the body and mind in a number of ways. When alcohol is consumed, it’s absorbed into your bloodstream and will travel to all body parts, including the brain. Alcohol is a depressant, which means that it slows down the central nervous system. This can lead to a number of effects.

Typical Physical and Behavioural Indicators of Intoxication

Common signs of drunkenness include:

– Slurred speech: Alcohol affects the muscles that control speech, making speaking difficult.
– Unsteady walking: Alcohol affects the cerebellum, which is responsible for coordination. This can make it difficult to walk and balance.
– Lowered inhibitions: Alcohol reduces inhibitions, which can make people say or do things that they would not usually say or do.

Other signs of drunkenness can include:

– Flushed face
– Dilated pupils
– Red, watery eyes
– Nausea and vomiting
– Passing out

Alcohol can also cause changes in personality or mood, such as:

– Becoming more outgoing: Alcohol can make people feel more confident and outgoing.
– Becoming more aggressive: Alcohol can also make people more aggressive or hostile.
– Becoming more emotional: Alcohol can also make people more emotional, leading to tears, laughter, or anger.
– Becoming depressed: Alcohol can also make people feel depressed and hopeless.

It is important to note that the effects of alcohol vary from person to person. Some people may be more susceptible to the adverse effects of alcohol than others.

Subtle Signs of Intoxication

In addition to the more common signs of alcohol intoxication, such as slurred speech, unsteady walking, and lowered inhibitions, a number of less obvious symptoms can indicate that someone is drunk.

These symptoms include:

– Changes in eye movement: Alcohol can affect the nerves that control eye movement, causing the eyes to become bloodshot, watery, or droopy. Alcohol can also cause nystagmus, which is a rapid, involuntary movement of the eyes.
– Dilation of pupils: Alcohol can cause the pupils to dilate.
– Shifts in attention span: Alcohol can impair concentration and attention span. Drunk people may have difficulty paying attention to conversations or completing tasks.

Other less obvious symptoms of alcohol intoxication can include:

– Increased sweating
– Decreased body temperature
– Changes in heart rate and blood pressure
– Difficulty sleeping
– Irritability
– Anxiety
– Depression

High Functioning Alcoholism

High-functioning alcoholism is a term used to describe people who can maintain their jobs, relationships, and other commitments despite their chronic alcohol use. High-functioning alcoholics may be able to hide their drinking from others, and they may not exhibit any of the more apparent signs of intoxication.

However, there are a number of subtle signs that may indicate that someone is a high-functioning alcoholic. These signs include:

– Hiding their drinking: High-functioning alcoholics may try very hard to hide their drinking from others. They may drink in secret or lie about how much they drink.
– Drinking alone: High-functioning alcoholics often drink alone. This is because they may fear being judged by others if they drink in public.
– Needing to drink to relax: High-functioning alcoholics may feel the need to drink to relax or cope with stress. They may also drink to boost their confidence or to numb negative emotions.
– Drinking to excess: When high-functioning alcoholics do drink, they often drink to excess. They may have difficulty controlling their drinking and continue to drink even when they know they should stop.
– Experiencing negative consequences from their drinking: High-functioning alcoholics can experience inevitable negative consequences, such as problems at work or in relationships. However, they may be able to minimise the impact of these consequences by maintaining a high level of functioning in other areas of their lives.

How to Approach Someone Who Is Drunk

There are a number of things you can do to ensure the safety of someone who is intoxicated:

– Prevent them from driving. If the person has been drinking, do not let them drive. Offer to call them a taxi or ride-sharing service or drive them home yourself.
– Make sure they are in a safe place to sleep. If the person is too drunk to go home, find them a safe place to sleep, such as a friend’s house or a hotel room.
– Monitor their condition. Stay with the person until they sober up and ensure they are not at risk of harming themselves or others.
– Communication is key when approaching someone drunk. It is essential to be calm and non-judgmental. Avoid using accusatory language or making the person feel ashamed of their drinking. Instead, focus on their safety and well-being.

Recognising Patterns and Seeking Help

Occasional overconsumption of alcohol is when someone drinks more alcohol than they intended or more than is recommended on a particular occasion. This can happen to anyone, and it does not necessarily mean that someone has an alcohol use disorder (AUD).

However, if someone consistently drinks more alcohol than they intended or more than is recommended, or if they experience negative consequences from their drinking, it may be a sign of an AUD.

Here are some patterns that may indicate a potential AUD:

– Drinking more alcohol than intended regularly.
– The need to consume more alcohol to achieve the same effect.
– Experiencing cravings for alcohol.
– Feeling irritable or anxious when not drinking.
– Having difficulty controlling your drinking.
– Continuing with drinking alcohol even when it’s causing issues in your life.
– Spending lots of time thinking about alcohol or planning how to get alcohol.

Find Support for Alcohol Addiction Today

If you are concerned that you or someone you know may have an AUD, it is essential to seek professional help.

At our alcohol rehab clinic, our team can help you assess your drinking habits and develop a plan to achieve lasting recovery from addiction. Get in touch with us today to discuss how we can help you.