What Does “Sobering Up” Mean?

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When someone consumes excessive amounts of alcohol or another type of drug, they need time to sober up to function as usual.

While there are some ways to improve impairment in the short term, it is impossible to sober up quickly.

Even if a person can enhance their alertness and awareness, they should not drive or make important decisions until any drugs are entirely flushed out of their system.

Depending on how much alcohol or other drugs were consumed, it can take hours for the substances to metabolize out of the body.

How to Sober Up From Alcohol

There is nothing an individual can do to reduce the amount of alcohol in their body after a night of drinking. However, they can take steps to feel more alert and appear more sober after drinking alcoholic beverages.

Drink Coffee

Drinking coffee may help a person feel more alert. However, it does not break down alcohol in the body. Additionally, just because a person feels more aware does not mean that they are not still intoxicated by alcohol. 

Drinking plenty of water is also crucial for hydration.

Have a Cold Shower

Having a cold shower does not reduce BAC levels. But it can make a person feel more awake and alert for a short timeframe.

If you are intoxicated from drinking alcohol and decide to have a cold shower, approach with caution. A cold shower can sometimes lead to shock and loss of unconsciousness for some intoxicated people. If you are going to try to ‘wake up’ with a cold shower, it is best to let someone know in case something goes wrong.


Sleep is the most effective way for someone to heal from the effects of alcohol. Rest allows the body to recover and recuperate. Sleep also helps the body remove the alcohol from its system.

Even taking a brief nap can help. But, generally, the more sleep a person has, the more sober they will feel.

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How to Sober Up from Molly

Like with alcohol intoxication, it is impossible to fast-forward the sobering up process after taking Molly. However, there are some methods you can take to become more alert and aware.


After enough sleep, the brain of someone who has taken Molly typically adjusts back to normal. However, the time it takes for the brain to change depends on how long the individual was on the drug.

If the user continues to take Molly for several days or weeks, the brain will develop a severe substance tolerance. The effects that would typically cause a crash or ‘hangover’ from a one-night experience taking the drug can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms that linger for days.

Consume Healthy Foods and Green Tea

Drinking plenty of green tea and consuming vegetables and fruits full of fructose helps an individual who has taken Molly feel more alert and aware. You can also supplement with potent neuroprotectors like ALCAR (Acetyl-L-Carnitine) and NA-R-ALA (Alpha Lipoic Acid).

Drinking water for hydration is essential too.

Drink Orange Juice

The surplus release of serotonin caused by molly leads to the mood-boosting effects people experience. However, when the results of the drug wear off, the levels of serotonin reduce significantly. This can lead to negative thoughts and feelings during the ‘come down.’

Vitamin C is required for the synthesis of serotonin. Drinking orange juice before and after taking Molly can reduce the comedown and help a person feel more sober.

How to Sober Up from Coke

It is impossible to sober up quickly from coke. However, there are ways to feel more alert and appear soberer after taking the drug.


The best method you can take to sober up after taking coke is sleeping. Your body requires natural sleep to rest and recover from taking coke. Allow your body plenty of time to recuperate.

Consume Healthy Foods and Drinks

Eat plenty of nuts and bananas and drink orange juice to boost serotonin levels and replenish nutrients after taking coke. You should also rehydrate with a glass of water or an isotonic drink.

How to Sober Up Fast

Many people want to know the secret of sobering up fast. There are many ideas out there that claim to have solved the problem. However, none are backed by science.

There is nothing you can do to quicken the way your liver breaks down the alcohol in your blood. Unfortunately, sobering up fast is not an option.

Myths About Sobering Up 

There are various myths about sobering up:

Vomiting Helps You Sober Up

When you induce vomiting, you remove the alcohol within your stomach that has not been absorbed yet. However, absorption of alcohol begins from the first beverage you drink. That means by the time you induce vomiting, there is likely already plenty of alcohol in your bloodstream.

Once ethanol is in the blood, vomiting does not help to reduce blood alcohol levels.

Consuming Fatty Foods and Carbohydrates Helps You Sober Up

Eating fatty meats, potatoes, bread, and other starchy foods and carbs is only helpful before you start consuming alcohol. While fatty foods reduce alcohol absorption from the gastrointestinal tract, once the alcohol is absorbed, nothing you eat can lower its level in your blood.

How to Sober Up Permanently (Addiction Treatment)

Drug and alcohol addiction can be treated. However, it is not simple. Addiction is a chronic illness, so people cannot stop using drugs for a couple of days and expect to be cured.

Most patients require long-term or repeated care to recover their lives and maintain sobriety. Here are some common treatments for alcohol and drug addiction.


Detox is the first step in the process of sobriety. Detox helps patients manage withdrawal symptoms and prevent relapse. Almost all patients require further treatment following detox. Patients who do not receive any additional treatment after detox usually relapse.


Patients may receive medications to re-establish their usual brain function and reduce cravings for alcoholic drinks or other drugs.

Medications are available for the treatment of the following drug addictions:

  • Opioids (heroin, prescription pain relievers)
  • Tobacco (nicotine)
  • Alcohol 

Scientists are producing other medications to address other drug addictions, such as cocaine and cannabis. It is common for many people to use more than one drug. These patients would require treatment for every substance they use.

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient or residential addiction treatment can be very effective. This therapy type is beneficial for people with more severe addictions and problems, including co-occurring mental health disorders.

Residential facilities typically offer 24-hour structured and intensive care. They usually use a selection of addiction treatments, including counseling and detoxification.

Find Help For Your Addiction

You don’t have to overcome your addiction alone. Professional guidance and support is available. Begin a life of recovery by reaching out to a specialist today.

Resources +

Drinking Levels Defined, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/moderate-binge-drinking 

Irwin, Christopher et al. “The effects of dehydration, moderate alcohol consumption, and rehydration on cognitive functions.” Alcohol (Fayetteville, N.Y.) vol. 47,3 (2013): 203-13, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23352231/ 

NIDA. "MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly) DrugFacts." National Institute on Drug Abuse, 15 Jun. 2020, https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/mdma-ecstasymolly 

NIDA. "Cocaine DrugFacts." National Institute on Drug Abuse, 13 Jul. 2018, https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/cocaine 

Myths about drinking alcohol, MedlinePlus, January 2021, https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000856.htm 


NIDA. "Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction DrugFacts." National Institute on Drug Abuse, 17 Jan. 2019, https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/treatment-approaches-drug-addiction 

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