The blood level of alcohol reflects the tissue levels throughout the body, and in a general way indicates the degree of impairment of the individual with drunkenness. The blood level is most importantly determined by the size of the person and the amount of alcohol ingested, for it is distributed throughout the total body water. The removal of alcohol is remarkably constant in a given person, although severe alcoholics have a substantially higher rate of removal than abstinent persons or modest drinkers.1
The proneness of the heavy drinker to head trauma, automobile accidents, and unusual infections, and the frequency with which detailed mental and neurological evaluations are needed in a somewhat intoxicated and often very uncooperative subject, are within the experience of every physician. The desirability of a rapid means to bring about sobriety to facilitate these evaluations and provide better care for the alcoholic is apparent. Most adults
Iber FL. The Effect of Fructose on Alcohol Metabolism. Arch Intern Med. 1977;137(9):1121. doi:10.1001/archinte.1977.03630210007003
Artificial Intelligence Resource Center
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.