How Long Does It Take To Get Sober?

Although most people drink for relaxation or social reasons, it often leads to overuse and profound consequences. Full sobriety and freedom from addiction is different for everyone. Somewhere along that journey, you may wonder how long does it take to get sober? Continue reading to learn more about the effects of alcohol and regaining sobriety.

If you or a loved one need the time and place to recover from alcohol addiction, contact Myrtle Beach Recovery to learn more about how we can help you return to a fulfilling, healthy, and sober life.

The Effects Of Alcohol

Despite the warnings from professionals in medical and mental health, law enforcement, and social services, the overuse of alcohol continues to increase. In 2019, over one in four adults reported engaging in binge drinking. As this trend of alcohol abuse has increased, so has alcohol’s contribution to emergency department visits and deaths. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports a staggering financial burden of almost a quarter trillion dollars in 2010.

These statistics don’t adequately reveal the effects of alcohol for everyone who falls into alcohol abuse and must regain sobriety to function healthily. Excessive drinking has a negative effect each time it occurs and can include the following effects on a person’s body:

  • Liver. The liver must filter toxins such as alcohol from your blood. Although it is a resilient organ, some liver cells die each time it filters alcohol. Prolonged alcohol abuse compromises the liver’s ability to regenerate these lost cells, leading to liver diseases such as fatty liver or cirrhosis.
  • Brain. Alcohol has short and long-term effects on the brain depending on the quantity and length of time a person drinks. These effects include changes in mood and behavior, clear thinking, memory, vision, speech, and coordinated movement.
  • Heart. Binge drinking and long-term alcohol overuse can lead to heart arrhythmias, hypertension, stroke, and damaged heart muscle.
  • Pancreas. One of the lesser-known effects of chronic alcohol overuse is a potentially fatal disease known as pancreatitis. This inflammatory condition of the pancreas is associated with long-term alcohol use that blocks pancreatic ducts and results in a damaged pancreas.

How Long It Takes To Eliminate All Alcohol From Your Body?

Each person metabolizes alcohol differently. Therefore, the time alcohol remains in the body varies. Alcohol reaches its peak blood level between one and two hours. After consumption, your body breaks alcohol down to eliminate it from your system. In about four to five hours, you eliminate one-half of the alcohol you consumed. Unfortunately, your body requires about five of these half-lives, or approximately twenty-five hours, to rid your system of alcohol. Studies indicate that alcohol remains in various parts of your body for different lengths of time, such as:

  • Saliva – 8 hours
  • Blood – 12 hours
  • Urine – 12 to 80 hours
  • Breath – 24 hours
  • Hair – 90 days

Factors That Affect How Long It Takes To Get Sober

The factors that will determine your requirement for total alcohol elimination include:

  • Age. Because of less water in the body and other variables, age slows down alcohol elimination.
  • Gender. Women tend to process alcohol slower than men.
  • Body composition. Your size, BMI, and weight affect the speed of alcohol metabolism.
  • Food intake. Eating before consuming alcohol dilutes the alcohol and lessens the blood alcohol content after drinking.
  • Medications. Certain medications such as Xanax, cold medicines, Adderall, and some diabetes medications can affect how fast you get rid of alcohol. 
  • Health conditions. Illnesses and conditions that compromise your kidney, liver, or stomach can make it more difficult to get alcohol out of your system quickly. 

Consider Myrtle Beach Recovery

Myrtle Beach Recovery provides a peaceful environment and a dedicated team to help you recover from addiction. Contact us to learn more about our successful residential rehab programs that give you the tools to change your life.