How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Your System?

How Long Does Alcohol Stay In Your System

How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Your System?

Alcohol abuse can result in various health repercussions, including liver damage and different forms of cancer. Some people seem to experience more severe reactions to drinking than others. Everyone’s body is different, and how long alcohol stays in your system depends on several factors. However, alcohol abuse is never safe, and anyone who drinks in excess is at risk of developing an addiction or other physical problems.

As a luxury rehab facility in Florida, we advise against heavy drinking and encourage people battling alcoholism to seek addiction treatment immediately. 

How Does Alcohol Affect Your Body?

Alcohol is a depressant that works by targeting the central nervous system and disrupting proper brain function. It can severely alter a person’s mood, cognition, behavior, and perception of time. Although many people drink alcohol for its relaxing effect, binge drinking can lead to severe impairment. Alcohol can severely depress the central nervous system and impair basic functions like:1

  • Speech
  • Coordination
  • Motor skills
  • Balance 
  • Memory
  • Cognition (thinking)
  • Reflexes

Long-term alcohol abuse may cause permanent damage to the areas of your brain that control these basic functions. Alcoholism can also cause cancer in areas of the body such as the throat, mouth, larynx, esophagus, colon, rectum, liver, and the breasts (for women).2 Individuals struggling with alcoholism can avoid these repercussions by receiving alcohol addiction treatment as soon as possible. 


How Long Does Alcohol Last in Your System?

Alcohol is absorbed through the stomach and small intestine, and whatever isn’t absorbed is released through urine or sweat. Once it enters the bloodstream, it travels to the liver where it will be broken down. Drinking too quickly can disrupt this process and prevent you from metabolizing alcohol properly. Factors like biological sex, weight, and how much you had to drink can determine how quickly you will feel the effects of alcohol and how long it will last in your system. For example, men have a higher concentration of water in their bodies than women do, allowing them to break down alcohol faster than women. 

How long alcohol stays in your system depends on what you’re testing. These tests include:3

  • Urine: Traces of alcohol can be detected in urine for up to 24 to 48 hours after the last drink
  • Breath: Traces of alcohol can be detected in your breath for up to 24 hours
  • Blood: Alcohol can be detected in the blood for up to 12 hours
  • Hair: Alcohol can be detected in hair for up to 90 days

At Seaside Palm Beach, we know how long alcohol stays in your system and that no amount of alcohol abuse is safe or healthy. Binge drinking or long periods of excessive drinking can lead to addiction and other health concerns. People who suffer from alcoholism can recover from their addiction and get sober at our luxury residential rehab

If you’re struggling with drug or alcohol abuse, do not wait to get help. Call us now at 561-677-9374 to find out how we can help you get sober.


  1. NIH- Alcohol Facts and Statistics 
  2. CDC- Alcohol and Cancer
  3. NCBI- Appendix B. Urine Collection and Testing Procedures and Alternative Methods for Monitoring Drug Use

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