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What Does “Sobering Up” Mean?

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.


Sobering up means being free from intoxication, either from drugs or alcohol. Drinking coffee, a cold shower, rest, and sleep can help a person sober up from the effects of alcohol.

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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.


Molly, also known as Ecstasy, has severe stimulatory effects. Getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, drinking green tea and orange juice can help a person deal with Molly. Coke, or cocaine, has the same stimulatory effects. Eating bananas, nuts, and orange juice can help in the sobering-up process.

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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.


There is no quick and easy way to sober up. The myths surrounding sobering up — like vomiting or consuming fatty and carb-rich foods — do not work.

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.

The most effective types of addiction treatment include:

  • Inpatient Programs — Inpatient treatment takes place at a licensed residential treatment center. These programs provide 24/7 comprehensive, structured care. You'll live in safe, substance-free housing and have access to professional medical monitoring. The first step of an inpatient program is detoxification. Then behavioral therapy and other services are introduced. These programs typically last 30, 60, or 90 days, sometimes longer. Most programs help set up your aftercare once you complete the inpatient portion of your treatment.
  • Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHPs) — Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) are sometimes referred to as intensive outpatient programs (IOPs). Compared to inpatient programs, partial hospitalization programs provide similar services. These include medical services, behavioral therapy, and support groups, along with other customized therapies. However, in a PHP , you return home to sleep. Some services provide food and transportation, but services vary by program. PHPs accept new patients as well as people who have completed an inpatient program and still need intensive treatment.
  • Outpatient Programs — Outpatient treatment is less intensive than inpatient or partial hospitalization programs. These programs organize your treatment session based on your schedule. The goal of outpatient treatment is to provide therapy, education, and support in a flexible environment. They are best for people who have a high motivation to recover and cannot leave their responsibilities at home, work, or school. Outpatient programs are often part of aftercare programs once you complete an inpatient or partial hospitalization program.
  • Support Groups — Support groups such as Narcotics Anonymous and SMART Recovery are open to anyone with a substance abuse problem. They are peer-led organizations dedicated to helping each other remain sober. They can be the first step towards recovery or part of a long-term aftercare plan.


The best way to sober up is to sober up permanently. This involves commitment, self-discipline, and the will to stick to an addiction treatment program. These programs include inpatient programs, partial hospitalization programs, outpatient programs, and support groups.

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Drinking Levels Defined, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 

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, 

NIDA. "MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly) DrugFacts." National Institute on Drug Abuse, 15 Jun. 2020, 

NIDA. "Cocaine DrugFacts." National Institute on Drug Abuse, 13 Jul. 2018, 

Myths about drinking alcohol, MedlinePlus, January 2021, 

NIDA. "Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction DrugFacts." National Institute on Drug Abuse, 17 Jan. 2019, 

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