The Reality of Feeling Drunk Without Drinking

We’ve all been there. You’re out with your friends, having a great time, when suddenly you start to feel… off.

Your head is spinning, your vision is blurred, and you can’t seem to focus on anything.

But the kicker?

You haven’t had a drop of alcohol.

So what gives?

Unfortunately, feeling drunk without drinking is more common than most people realize. In fact, according to a recent study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), nearly 1 in 3 people have experienced this phenomenon at least once in their lives.

And while it may not be as debilitating as actual drunkenness, it can still be pretty darn unpleasant – not to mention embarrassing if you’re trying to stay sober! So what causes this strange sensation?

Table of Contents:

Causes of Feeling Drunk Without Drinking

a drunk and dizzy man

It’s not uncommon to feel drunk without drinking. There are a variety of reasons why this could happen.

Maybe you took a cold medicine that has alcohol in it. Or maybe you have an underlying health condition that causes your body to metabolize alcohol differently.

Whatever the reason, it’s essential to be aware of the potential causes of Feeling drunk without drinking. One potential cause of feeling drunk without drinking is taking a medication that contains alcohol.

Many cold medicines, for example, contain small amounts of alcohol. If you take one of these medicines and then go out into the cold, your body will absorb the alcohol from the medicine, and you may start to feel drunk.

Another potential cause of feeling drunk without drinking is an underlying health condition. If you have diabetes, your body may not process alcohol the same way as someone who doesn’t have diabetes.

As a result, you may feel drunk even if you’ve only had a few drinks. Whatever the reason, one must be aware of the potential causes of feeling drunk without drinking.

If you start to feel drunk and haven’t been drinking, check with your doctor to rule out any underlying health conditions.

Key Takeaway: There are a variety of potential causes of feeling drunk without drinking, including taking medication that contains alcohol and having an underlying health condition.

Symptoms of Feeling Drunk Without Drinking

Have you ever woken up feeling like you’ve had a few too many drinks the night before, even though you know you didn’t drink anything?

Or have you ever felt buzzed or even drunk after only having a few sips of alcohol?

If so, you may be experiencing what’s known as “auto-brewery syndrome” or “gut fermentation syndrome.

A build-up of yeast causes this rare condition in the gut that ferments carbohydrates into alcohol. This can lead to symptoms like feeling drunk, buzzed, or hungover, even if you haven’t had any alcohol to drink.

Auto-brewery syndrome is most commonly seen in people with diabetes or who have had surgery on their gastrointestinal tract. However, it can also occur in healthy people.

If you think you may be experiencing auto-brewery syndrome, it’s essential to see a doctor so they can rule out other potential causes of your symptoms. Treatment for auto-brewery syndrome typically involves a low-carbohydrate diet and antifungal medications.

How to Cope With Feeling Drunk Without Drinking

It can be difficult to cope with feeling drunk without drinking. You may feel like you are missing out on the fun, or you may feel anxious about not being able to drink.

There are a few things that you can do to make coping with feeling drunk without drinking easier. First, it is essential to remember that you are not alone.

Many people do not drink for various reasons. You are not missing out on anything by not drinking.

You may even be better off without alcohol. Second, try to stay busy.

If you are feeling drunk without drinking, it is probably because you are not occupying your time. Find things to do that will keep your mind off of drinking.

This can include exercise, reading, spending time with friends and family, or anything else you enjoy. Third, talking to someone about how you are feeling is essential.

It can be difficult to cope with feeling drunk without drinking if you keep your feelings to yourself. Talk to a friend, family member, therapist, or anyone else you feel comfortable talking to.

This can help you to feel better and may give you some insight on how to cope with feeling drunk without drinking. Fourth, some medical treatments can help with feeling drunk without drinking.

If you are feeling especially drunk without drinking, you may want to talk to your doctor about medications that can help. This is not a cure, but it can help to lessen the symptoms of feeling drunk without drinking.

Lastly, try to relax and take it one day at a time. It is essential not to put too much pressure on yourself.

Feeling drunk without drinking can be difficult, but it is essential to remember that it is not impossible to cope with. Take things one day at a time, and be patient with yourself.

Key Takeaway: It is possible to cope with feeling drunk without drinking by staying busy, talking to someone, and seeking medical help if needed.

When to Seek Help for Feeling Drunk Without Drinking

confused drunk man

If you’re feeling drunk without drinking, it’s essential to seek help. This can signify a serious health condition, such as liver disease.

If you’re feeling drunk, you may also have other symptoms, such as tiredness, trouble concentrating, or slurred speech. You must see a doctor immediately if you have any of these symptoms.

Prevention of Feeling Drunk Without Drinking

It’s that time of year again when the weather gets warmer and the days start to get longer. And, for many people, that means it’s time to start drinking.

But what if you don’t want to get drunk?

What if you want to enjoy the warm weather and the long days without feeling the effects of alcohol?

You can do a few things to prevent feeling drunk without drinking. First, try drinking alcohol-free beer or wine.

Various brands make these types of beverages, so you’re sure to find one you like. Second, alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

This will help to keep your alcohol consumption down and prevent you from getting too drunk. Third, drink plenty of water.

This will help to keep you hydrated and will also help to flush the alcohol out of your system. Finally, eat before you start drinking.

Eating will help to slow down the absorption of alcohol into your system and will help to prevent you from getting too drunk.

Key Takeaway: If you don’t want to get drunk, try drinking alcohol-free beer or wine, alternating between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, drinking plenty of water, and eating before you start drinking.

FAQs in Relation to Feeling Drunk Without Drinking


Many possible causes of feeling drunk without drinking include low blood sugar, dehydration, sleep deprivation, and certain medications.


There is no definitive answer to this question, as everyone experiences symptoms of diabetes differently. However, some people with diabetes report feeling drunk or intoxicated after consuming sugary foods or drinks, even if they have not consumed alcohol.

This is likely due to a sudden spike in blood sugar levels which can cause dizziness, confusion, and other symptoms similar to being drunk.

Suppose you experience these symptoms after eating sugary foods or drinks. In that case, monitoring your blood sugar levels closely and speaking with your doctor about managing your diabetes best is essential.


However, the most likely cause is simply anxiety or stress.

When we’re feeling anxious or stressed, our bodies can produce symptoms that mimic those of being intoxicated – including dizziness, lightheadedness, and impaired coordination.

So if you find yourself feeling “drunk” without having had any alcohol, try taking some deep breaths and relaxing your body as much as possible.

And if the sensation persists for more than a few minutes or gets worse over time, it’s always best to consult with a doctor just to be safe.



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I'm a co-founder and writer here at Unfinished Man. I write, manage the look and feel of the website, and make sure that nothing breaks. I also reply to the vast majority of our emails, so if you're sending one through, I suggest you be nice. Everyone says I'm the least offensive of our writers, so they gave the email jockey task to me. When I'm not improving the site, I write about fashion, video games, politics, and anything related to science and technology.

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