Alcohol intoxication

The condition that results from consuming an excessive amount of alcohol, often over a relatively short period. The effects of a large alcohol intake depend on many factors, including physical and mental state, body size, social situation, and acquired tolerance. The important factor, however, is the blood alcohol level. Mild intoxication promotes relaxation and increases social confidence. Alcohol causes acute poisoning if taken in sufficiently large amounts, however. It depresses the activity of the central nervous system, leading to loss of normal mental and physical control. In extreme cases, intoxication may lead to loss of consciousness and even death. In most cases, recovery from alcohol intoxication takes place naturally as the alcohol is gradually broken down in the liver. Medical attention is required if the intoxication has resulted in coma. For the chronic mental, physical, and social effects of long-term heavy drinking, see alcohol dependence and alcohol-related disorders.


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