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How Alcohol Affects Your Body

© by Kurt M. Dubowski, University of Oklahoma College and Medicine, Oklahoma City, OK, 1997


0.01-0.05 Subclinical
  • Influence/effects not apparent or obvious
  • Behavior nearly normal by ordinary observation
  • Impairment detectable by special tests
0.03-0.12 Euphoria
  • Mild euphoria, sociability, talkativeness
  • Increased self-confidence; decreased inhibitions
  • Diminution of attention, judgment and control
  • Some sensory-motor impairment
  • Slowed information processing
  • Loss of efficiency in critical performance tests
0.09-0.25 Excitement
  • Emotional instability; loss of critical judgment
  • Impairment of perception, memory and comprehension
  • Decreased sensatory response; increased reaction time
  • Reduced visual acuity, peripheral vision and glare recovery
  • Sensory-motor uncoordination; impaired balance
  • Drowsiness
0.18-0.30 Confusion
  • Disorientation, mental confusion; dizziness
  • Exaggerated emotional states (fear, rage, grief, etc.)
  • Disturbances of vision (diplopia, etc.) and of perception of color, form, motion, dimensions
  • Increased pain threshold
  • Increased muscular uncoordination; staggering gait; slurred speech
  • Apathy, lethargy
0.25-0.40 Stupor
  • General inertia; approaching loss of motor functions
  • Markedly decreased response to stimuli
  • Marked muscular uncoordination; inability to stand or walk; vomiting; incontinence of urine and feces
  • Impaired consciousness; sleep or stupor
0.35-0.50 Coma
  • Complete unconsciousness; coma; anesthesia
  • Depressed or abolished reflexes
  • Subnormal temperature
  • Impairment of circulation and respiration
  • Possible death
0.45 + Death
  • Death from respiratory arrest

How Alcohol Affects Your Body

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