How does an intoxicated person’s mind suddenly become sober when something very serious happens?

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How does an intoxicated person’s mind suddenly become sober when something very serious happens?

In: Biology

When a serious event happens, your adrenaline rush kicks in. It doesn’t sober you up but acts as a strong stimulant which can overpower the depressant effects of alcohol for a duration of time.

Well, being intoxicated is also partly psychological. I don’t remember the number (and the exact number is probably bullshit) but in college a course I took said a certain percentage of the effect of alcohol is not due to the substance itself but from the social situation you are drinking in and also your own expectations of alcohol. So when something very serious happens, these feelings go away.

And I think that’s obvious, we all know people who behave differently when drunk. A lot of what we perceive as intoxication is an interaction between the substance and our own mindset.

It doesn’t.

A person may feel a bit less intoxicated if in a serious and/or life threatening situation because of adrenaline or similar hormones, but they are still intoxicated.

They will still be suffering from the effects of intoxication. The only way to actually “become sober” after consuming a large amount of alcohol is to allow enough time to pass for your body to process it, which is a few hours at the minimum.

Adrenaline, that’s your body’s “something serious happened” signal. It gets more blood moving and mainly makes your awareness and senses better. So they’re still drunk the brain is just a little too drunk to know how drunk it is, and the increased awareness makes the brain suddenly feel more sober.

Adrenaline. You don’t become “sober” you just stop having fun because something bad happened.

People colloquially say “it was sobering” but that just means the fun ended – not that the influence of drugs has suddenly worn off.

I once had E at home and as i was peaking, my mum called me for dinner. At first i pretended to be sober, sat down at dinner table zoning the fuck out. Mum then calls me to the kitchen to cut up a pineapple. I couldn’t think and that request was random! but in efforts to look sober i got up and went to the kitchen.thinking back..i must have been crosseyed. As my mum handed me the knife, for some reason i had a sudden wake up call that i could hurt myself or worse someone else. My vision focused and my hands steadied and my mind went clear. Following that whilst buzzing different, i managed to prep the pineapple and sit down and eat a meal…Whilst not having an appetite?? After dinner and back to my bedroom. I had a deep breath, relaxed and my E high returned with a vengeance. Was that adrenalin? I always thought i had super self control powers then.

Just because I haven’t seen this pointed out very well:

You don’t “Become Sober” when something serious occurs. You are still drunk/impaired by any and all metrics.

While adrenaline will narrow your mental focus to the problem at hand, remove the sense of fun/euphoria, and decrease your response time, it is still relative to the level of chemical impairment you are experiencing.

I have one very visceral memory of this happening. I was so close to pass out drunk (but I didn’t care, because I was just camping with friends and family) But then a buddy got into a big fight with his girlfriend, and was about to drunkenly drive his dirtbike all the way back home through the dark uneven Forest road. (And if he got through that it would’ve been highway) I immediately felt myself sober up and another friend and I stayed up for hours after everyone went to sleep talking to him and keeping him from leaving. (He was very persistent, but we got him to go to bed eventually.)

Your environment becomes more stimulating than the drugs and every part of your brain becomes focused on the task at hand. The rush of neurotransmitters and activity in that moment suppresses the effect of the drugs.

ELI5: When something serious happens, your body unlocks it’s hidden Red Bull fridge and force feeds you the equivalent of a dozen of them, to expected results.

It doesn’t.

Adrenaline makes you *feel* awake and alert. This gives the illusion that you have “sobered up” because your body is using these things as a gauge of drunkenness.

However, the effects of alcohol are still fully present.

This is actually one of the dangers of mixing stimulants and alcohol – rather than directly counteracting each other, they actually both affect you simultaneously. So you end up both stimulated and drunk, which is not a good combination.