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Most adults enjoy a few drinks every now and again, but most have a limited understanding of how the body processes alcohol. While it may not matter much for occasional social drinkers, this confusion can cause problems for people who are planning to drink large amounts or engage in activities such as driving where impairment is illegal and dangerous. The amount of time alcohol stays in the body varies depending on many factors, but some guidelines hold true for most people.

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1. Alcohol Absorption

When a person consumes an alcoholic drink, the alcohol enters the bloodstream immediately. Usually, about 20% is absorbed into the bloodstream before the beverage even reaches the stomach. The rest travels into the stomach and small intestine and is there absorbed into the blood. The bloodstream carries the alcohol to the brain, which is what causes symptoms of drunkenness.

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This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.