Substance Use

Does Throwing up Help You Sober Up?

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Does Throwing Up Help You Sober Up?

Vomiting does not help you sober up. While it may decrease the level of alcohol in your stomach,  it will not get you sober, as alcohol enters the bloodstream rapidly before being eliminated through your digestive tract. Making yourself throw up can cause unwelcome complications like acid reflux and even dehydration, which in rare cases can be life-threatening.

If you need to get sober, it’s best to hydrate and wait it out. Your body will naturally eliminate toxins through your kidneys and liver. However, if stopping drinking alcohol and detoxing causes physical pain or significant anguish, you might be experiencing alcohol withdrawal, which is a condition that requires medical attention.

The experts at Zinnia Health provide treatment programs for those with Alcohol Use Disorder and addiction. If you struggle to stay sober, contact Zinnia Health at (855) 430-9439 for help. 

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Can Throwing Up Help Me Sober Up?

Although vomiting often accompanies feeling drunk, it will not help you sober up.

According to MedlinePlus, alcohol affects functions within the Central Nervous System (CNS) once it enters your bloodstream. The CNS includes your brain and spinal cord. It is responsible for essential actions such as breathing and blood pressure. Alcohol temporarily rewires communication in the Central Nervous System, causing your heart to slow down. This rewiring results in the characteristics of feeling drunk.

Once alcohol moves through the digestive tract, it is metabolized and eliminated from the body through the liver and kidneys. The length of time it takes for this process to happen varies from as little as a few hours or as long as a few weeks.

Unfortunately, causing yourself to vomit will not speed up this process — and it could even be dangerous. 

Vomiting To Get Sober: The Dangers

Intentionally causing yourself to vomit is never recommended as a method of avoiding alcohol intoxication. According to the National Library of Medicine, vomiting can cause dehydration, which leads to an imbalance of electrolytes. It also causes acid erosion in the esophagus.

A side effect of drinking too much alcohol is vomiting. Binge drinking induces acid reflux leading to a sensitive gag reflex. This can cause you to vomit involuntarily. Chronic vomiting increases these negative health risks by repeatedly introducing acid to the esophagus.

Vomiting Causes Dehydration

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, one of alcohol’s effects is suppressing vasopressin release. This hormone sends signals to the kidney to hold back fluid. Alcohol disrupts this process, resulting in increased urination. The higher your alcohol consumption, the more you urinate, resulting in an excessive loss of fluids leading to mild dehydration.

Voluntarily vomiting increases fluid loss, leading to severe dehydration. This is a medical emergency.

Life-threatening signs of dehydration include:

  • Increased thirst
  • Dry mouth
  • Lack of sweat or urination
  • Feeling unusually sleepy
  • Confusion
  • Fainting
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Rapid breathing
  • Shock

You are at a greater risk of dehydration if you’ve already vomited or had diarrhea as a result of excessive alcohol intake. To avoid these complications, it is essential to replenish fluids right away by drinking water or a sports drink.

If you cannot hold down a glass of water and you’ve ingested a large amount of alcohol, seek emergency attention. This could be a symptom of alcohol overdose or alcohol poisoning.

Intentionally Vomiting Causes Esophageal Erosion

Drinking alcohol can increase the risk of developing acid reflux. This condition moves stomach acids back into the esophagus and throat. These acids irritate the esophagus leading to a burning sensation in the chest and coughing.

Like acid reflux, vomiting reintroduces acids to the esophagus. According to MedlinePlus, acid reflux can worsen asthma, cause ulcers, and lead to precancerous changes in the esophagus.

How to Achieve Sobriety Safely

True sobriety takes time. Your body must eliminate the alcohol before you are genuinely sober. According to Alcoholic Beverages Control, your liver can break down one alcoholic drink per hour.

Once alcohol reaches the liver, it converts to acetaldehyde. This dangerous toxin is converted to acetate before leaving the system. The more you drink, the longer this process takes. 

Hydrating and snacking on nutrient-rich foods can minimize the symptoms you might experience during this time. They include nausea, dehydration, indigestion, and dry mouth. However, eating will not decrease your blood alcohol level.

Keep Hydrated

Drinking water is one sure way to improve hydration. Hydration can help if you’re hungover and experiencing uncomfortable symptoms like nausea and dry mouth. However, hydration will not speed up detoxification or push alcohol out of the system quicker. 

Alcohol is detectable in your urine for 48 hours or longer, no matter how much water you drink. After a night of drinking, your blood alcohol concentration is much higher, so it can take even longer to leave your system.

Follow a Healthy Diet

Although eating well will not help you sober up, it can repair tissue damage caused by alcohol use. Alcohol Research states that a proper diet helps repair tissues damaged over time from excessive alcohol use. It is also beneficial for people with Alcohol-Associated Liver Disease.

Avoid Your Triggers

Nursing a bad hangover after a night of heavy drinking is no fun. Staying away from triggers that cause you to drink in the first place is the best method to get sober. 

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, common triggers include stress and untreated mental health conditions.

Activities that promote emotional wellness, like cycling or walking, can help counter these triggers. However, if you find it difficult to achieve sobriety without relapsing, you may have Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD).

Alcohol Use Disorder is an uncontrollable urge to drink despite the adverse effects of alcohol. AUD is a complex disease that causes mental and physical changes that are challenging to treat alone.

If you need treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder, our experts can help. Contact Zinnia Health at (855) 430-9439 to learn about our fully-accredited centers and detox programs for AUD.

When to Seek Help for Getting Sober

If you have Alcohol Use Disorder and you’re vomiting to get better, getting sober on your own might be difficult. This is due to changes in the brain that cause alcohol dependence. When your body is dependent on alcohol, you will develop withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking.

According to the National Library of Medicine, withdrawal symptoms can vary.

Typical signs of alcohol withdrawal include:

  • Anxiety and nervousness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Excessive sweating
  • Shaking and trimmers

If you’ve experienced any of the above symptoms and only felt relief after relapsing, seek professional help. Withdrawal symptoms expand and become life-threatening over time.

Drug and alcohol rehab centers provide treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder and medication to minimize the discomfort of withdrawal.

Where to Get Help with Alcohol Addiction

If you or a loved one has an alcohol addiction, professional help is essential. According to MedlinePlus, treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder might include behavioral therapies like Motivation Enhancement Therapy, Medication-assisted detox, and Counseling.

Behavioral therapies help you discover the underlying reasons for addiction while developing coping strategies to avoid relapses.

Addiction is a lonely and isolating disease. Rehabilitation centers like Zinnia Health, offer group activities in addition to drug treatment to stave off loneliness and facilitate a sense of community.

If you’re ready to take your power back and kick alcohol for good, contact Zinnia Health at (855) 430-9439 to get started. 

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