Alcohol intoxication, also known as alcohol poisoning, commonly described as drunkenness or inebriation, is the negative behavior and physical effects caused by a recent consumption of alcohol. In addition to the toxicity of ethanol, the main psychoactive component of alcoholic beverages, other physiological symptoms may arise from the activity of acetaldehyde, a metabolite of alcohol. These effects may not arise until hours after ingestion and may contribute to the condition colloquially known as a hangover.
Symptoms of intoxication at lower doses may include mild sedation and poor coordination. At higher doses, there may be slurred speech, trouble walking, and vomiting. Extreme doses may result in a respiratory depression, coma, or death. Complications may include seizures, aspiration pneumonia, injuries including suicide, and low blood sugar. Alcohol intoxication can lead to alcohol-related crime with perpetrators more likely to be intoxicated than victims.Alcohol intoxication typically begins after two or more alcoholic drinks. Risk factors include a social situation where heavy drinking is common and a person having an impulsive personality. Diagnosis is usually based on the history of events and physical examination.