Blood alcohol levels

Patient

Q: Would a new drinkers blood alcohol level be higher then a person whose been drinking for years?

Symptoms:  Drinking,dizziness
Doctor

A:   Thank you for writing to us.

You need to understand the way alcohol is broken down in the body. Alcohol is broken down to produce Aldehydes by the enzyme Alcohol dehydrogenase and then the Aldehyde is broken down to water and carbon dioxide by Aldehyde dehydrogenase.

Getting back to your question, there is a negligible difference between chronic alcohol drinkers and new drinkers. This is assuming that the persons have a similar body weight and muscle and fat composition. Both persons should not have liver damage as damaged liver can reduce the excretion of alcohol.

Even though the blood alcohol levels may be similar, a chronic drinker will not get drunk as quickly as a new drinker. This is because the neurons in the brain get more used to alcohol as the person drinks more often.

I hope this helps you.

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