Signs of Intoxication

Do you know how to recognize the signs of intoxication? Most people automatically assume that individuals who are intoxicated will simply become clumsy and slur their words, and while these are typical signs of intoxication, there are many other signs that might indicate that someone has had too much to drink.

To understand how to recognize the symptoms of intoxication, you have to understand how alcohol affects the body. Alcohol is a central nervous symptom depressant. It slows the chemical signals that allow for communication between the brain and other areas of the body. This means that intoxicated individuals are slow to respond to physical stimuli, which causes the telltale clumsiness and slurring. In addition, intoxicated people will often

• Stagger and sway while trying to stand. Muscle coordination is impaired as well as equilibrium, and attempts to maintain balance is affected. Many intoxicated people will adapt a wide stance to help compensate for a lack of balance or will hold on to something.

• Lose their train of thought. Many times they will stop talking mid-sentence and forget what they were talking about.

• Move their hands slowly. Eye-hand coordination is impaired, making using the hands and fingers for fine motor tasks difficult.

• Slur their speech and speak slowly and very deliberately.

Additionally, intoxicated individuals will exhibit grandiose behavior and impaired thinking. They will often engage in behavior that is out of character such as being overly friendly or becoming aggressive. Alcohol produces a euphoric effect that can cause intoxicated people to laugh and speak loudly.

For most people, visual acuity decreases. The eyes will take on a glassy look with dilated pupils that lack focus. The eyes may become red or watery and take on a tired or droopy appearance. Additionally, because intoxicated individuals find it difficult to focus, many will squint in order to try and reduce double vision and achieve better focus

As the individual becomes more drunk, his or her control over their reflexes continues to diminish. They will lose track of where their body is in relationship to their environment. This often causes them to have difficulty in eating and drinking as they can’t guide their hands to their mouths. Swallowing becomes more difficult. They find it more difficult to find and pick up things they have dropped and may show no reaction to outside stimulus such as questions from other people or something being spilled. Their pain receptors are diminished, which makes it much more likely that they will injure themselves.

And, last but not least, intoxicated people exhibit difficulty controlling muscle movement. Intoxicated people find it difficult to hold their heads up and move it normally. They usually resort to bobbing it. They sometimes have involuntary eye movements. Because alcohol is an ACE inhibitor, it causes dehydration. They will make frequent trips to the restroom. And, as the alcohol is being processed and removed from the body, the intoxicated individual will often smell of stale alcohol as it is removed from the body through the pores.