How to Tell if Someone is Drunk: The Signs of Intoxication

How to Tell if Someone is Drunk: The Signs of Intoxication

Too Much Alcohol – How to Tell if Someone is Drunk

For some people there is nothing wrong with having a few alcoholic beverages from time to time. in fact, when consumed in moderation, alcohol can be a social lubricant.

That said, when it comes to alcohol, for everyone there is such a thing as too much.

Excess alcohol consumption not only changes a person’s behavior, but it also makes it difficult for that person to tend to his or her responsibilities.

As such, it can have a drastic negative effect on one’s life.

Wondering how to tell if someone is drunk? There are a number of signs you can look out for. They include the following.

How to Tell if Someone is Drunk - A man sits in the curb and drinks a large beer. If you know someone who struggles with alcohol learn how to tell if someone is drunk and get help for them at an alcohol rehab.
A man sits in the curb and drinks a large beer.

How to Tell if Someone is Drunk: The Signs

In some cases, drunkenness is obvious. However, many individuals — specifically those who suffer from alcoholism — are adept at keeping their intoxication under wraps.

If you’re having trouble determining whether an individual is drunk, you should look out for the following signs.

A Flushed Face

One of the common signs of inebriation is a flushed face. If a person’s cheeks are burning bright red, there’s a good chance that he or she has had too much to drink.

This face flushing phenomenon occurs as a result of dilated blood capillaries.

These capillaries dilate because the body is no longer able to metabolize acetaldehyde, a compound that forms after alcohol has been broken down by the body.

Now, this isn’t to say that all face flushing comes as a result of drinking. It can be caused by a number of other factors as well(ie. rosacea, vigorous exercise, etc.).

However, if it’s occurring during a drinking session, it’s almost certainly appearing as a result of alcohol over consumption.

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How to Tell if Someone is Drunk , Look for Slurred Speech.

Another common sign of alcohol intoxication is slurred speech. If a person is dragging out the ends of words or is having difficulty pronouncing his or her words clearly, alcohol could very well be the culprit.

Why does alcohol lead to slurred speech? Because alcohol slows down activity within the brain, thus preventing the brain from communicating with the rest of the body in a timely manner.

Thus, the affected individual starts saying words without having fully processed them within his or her brain; slurring becomes an inevitability.

As with a flushed face, slurred speech can be caused by a number of other factors as well. In many cases, neurological issues are to blame. In other cases, simple anxiety can be the cause.

That said, if the slurring is a relatively new occurrence, you should suspect alcohol consumption. This is particularly true if it’s an off/on happening.

Increased Social Interaction

As you likely know, alcohol can have a seismic effect on one’s behavior.

It can turn a normally quiet person into the life of the party and transform a normally standoffish individual into an absolute flirt. In other words, it can increase the level of social interaction in which a person engages.

In notably quiet people, this shouldn’t be difficult to notice. In fact, you’ll probably feel as though as you’re with an entirely different person. It’s those that are already sociable who are difficult to assess.

In individuals such as these, you should assess conversational subject matter as opposed to conversational quantity.

If a normally respectful individual begins to speak provocatively about sex, politics, religion, and other taboo topics, alcohol intoxication could be at the source of the problem.

How to Tell if Someone is Drunk - A man dances by himself with his tie on his head. When people get drunk they do things they would not normally do it is one of the ways how to tell id someone is drunk, their actions.
A man dances by himself with his tie on his head.

How to Tell if Someone is Drunk, They Show a Lack of Emotional Regulation

While it’s not true for everyone, many individuals demonstrate drunkenness by losing control of their emotional regulation. As such, they become exceedingly angry, hostile, or melancholy during drinking sessions.

Is your friend getting extremely angry over something that’s of little consequence?

Is he or she clamming up and barely speaking to others? Maybe he or she is picking fights at the drop of a hat?

All of these are a cause for concern, whether they’re caused by alcohol consumption or not. For this reason, you need to get to the bottom of them sooner rather than later.

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Physical Imbalance

Another sign that you should look out for is a physical imbalance.

If someone is stumbling around, incapable of walking in a straight line, he or she is very likely under the influence of a toxic substance.

This substance could be any alcohol as well as a variety of other drugs.

This occurs due to the way that alcohol slows down the brain.

Because the brain can’t keep up with the movements of the body, it can’t send full signals to the portions of the body that allow for movement. As a result, stumbling, tripping and dragging inevitably occur.

Of course, this can be caused by other factors as well. However, if it’s popped up suddenly, alcohol or another drug is the likely culprit.


The last sign to look out for is dehydration. If your friend is demonstrating weakness or spontaneously downing water like a fish, he or she could very well be dehydrated as a result of alcohol consumption.

Generally speaking, the more alcohol a person drinks, the more dehydration he or she will experience. So, while you might not notice the effects initially, you’ll almost certainly notice them as the night goes on.

How to Tell if Someone is Drunk – When it Becomes a Problem.

Just because someone’s drunk doesn’t mean that he or she has a drinking problem. Just about every drinker has been drunk at some point in their life. So, at what point does drunkenness become a problem?

There are signs to look for so you know how to tell if someone is drunk. There are a number of scenarios that indicate a problem. However, the most common of them include the following.

When Responsibilities Aren’t Being Tended To

Is your friend’s drunkenness preventing him or her from going to work on a regular basis? Is he or she neglecting the care of his or her children in favor of drinking at the bar? If so, he or she most definitely has a problem.

When drinking takes precedence over responsibilities, it has the potential to send a person’s life into a full-on tailspin. If you know how to tell if someone is drunk you will be able to hold them accountable.

When they sober up you can say I know you were drunk last night or you had too many drinks. To prevent this from happening, professional treatment should be sought as soon as possible.

When Health is Being Jeopardized

Alcohol can cause a number of health problems, some of which are mental and some of which are physical.

These include liver disease, heart disease, memory problems, depression, and anxiety, to name just a few.

Inebriation can lead to ailments and injuries as well, including everything from bruises to broken bones to STDs and more.

If a person has experienced or is experiencing any sort of illness or injury as a result of alcohol consumption, his or her consumption has become a problem.

Again, professional treatment is recommended.

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When Reckless Behavior Has Become the Norm

Everyone is a little uninhibited when they’re drinking. However, when uninhibited turns into reckless, a problem has arisen. This is particularly true if it’s occurring on a regular basis.

Has your friend’s drunken behavior gotten him or her arrested? Has he or she put him or herself in dangerous situations? Has his or her drinking led to other, more extreme forms of drug abuse?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, there is most certainly a problem afoot. Seek treatment now before it’s too late.

How to Tell if Someone is Drunk – Finances are Affected

The last sign that a person’s drunkenness has become a problem is that his or her finances are being affected.

If he or she is spending exorbitant amounts of money for alcohol or if he or she is missing work in order to drink, there is undoubtedly a problem at hand.

At this point, the problem runs the risk of ruining the individual’s entire life. Not only is his or her life savings at risk but his or her credit score as well.

Paying the bills should always take priority over buying drinks.

If you notice this situation taking hold in a close friend or loved one’s life, you should act quickly.

Allowing it to continue for an extended period of time could have severe long-term consequences.

But if you nip it in the bud now, you can prevent it from spiraling out of control.

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Looking for a Reputable Rehab Center in Scottsdale, Arizona?

Now that you know how to tell if someone is drunk, you might be noticing signs of drunkenness in a friend or loved one.

If so, and if you’re looking for a reputable rehab center in the Scottsdale area, Pathfinders Recovery Center is the place to call.

We treat not only alcoholism but heroin, methamphetamine, and prescription pill addiction as well.

Whether your loved one suffers from one or more of these conditions, we have the resources needed to combat the problem.

Contact us now to discuss treatment!