There are dozens of terms out there that we use to describe ourselves when we’re feeling on a certain level of intoxication from alcohol. You could range from being flushed to plastered, depending on a variety of factors (which we’ll get to later). But one of the most popular terms, which usually falls in the middle and is arguably the closest stage to being fully drunk, is buzzed.


What It Means When You Say You’re Buzzed

When alcohol is making us feel good but we wouldn’t go as far as to say we’re drunk, we’ll usually say we’re tipsy or buzzed. But sometimes, we could be leaning toward the drunk side and still say we’re feeling a strong buzz. So what does that really mean?

“Buzzed” and “tipsy” are relatively the same in terms of definition. Nobody is the same; but for women, it usually takes 1-2 drinks an hour to feel effects of alcohol in the brain and body. Fod men, it can typically take 2-3 drinks an hour.

If you’re buzzed, you might notice that you:

  • Are more talkative
  • Have more confidence to take risks
  • Have slightly slower motor skills
  • Have a shorter attention span and memory.


Being buzzed does not have symptoms as severe as being drunk; but since it decreases motor skills and starts to have an effect on the brain, you should still get a designated driver if you’re out & feeling buzzed.

And once you had enough drinks to pass the buzzed stage, you’ll likely start to feel drunk.


Definition of Being Drunk

Once you’re feeling drunk, you might transition from the term “buzzed” to “trashed” or “hammered.” This stage can inevitably come with more severe signs and effects, including:

  • Lack of coordination
  • Poor judgement
  • Slowed breathing & heart rate
  • Vision issues
  • Drowsiness
  • Loss of balance

If someone has too much alcohol in their system, it can cause serious issues like dehydration, vomiting, injuries, seizures, etc. Therefore, it’s important to be careful and watch for these signs in yourself and others.


 How to Tell if You’re Drunk or Buzzed

Obviously, it’s helpful to know the signs of being drunk before you get there; and it’s even more important to realize the signs when you’re crossing the line. The more you drink and for a longer time period, the stronger the effects will get.

Some people might not feel drunk after drinking 8 shots, while others start stumbling after a few drinks. This depends on factors like someone’s age, weight, drinking history, how much food they ate that day, etc.

Here are just a few things to note when using the term “buzzed” vs. “drunk:”

  1. If you’re buzzed, you can typically remember what you did/are doing
  2. People still typically have control over their speech and body when buzzed
  3. Being drunk can bring more unpleasant effects and moods, whereas being buzzed brings a feeling of happiness

These are just a fraction of the things to keep in mind when going out for a night of drinking. Since there are so many levels to being under the influence of alcohol, it’s important to prepare before you head out.


Taking Precaution

It’s vital to know your limit. When you understand where your personal limit falls between being drunk and buzzed, you know when to stop and keep the night going smoothly.

To prevent getting drunk, stay hydrated. Pace yourself and drink water in between alcoholic drinks so that your brain won’t get dehydrated. And remember, while being drunk and buzzed is slightly different, there is a fine line that can turn a great night into a terrible one. Whether you plan to have 2 drinks or 6, be sure to bring someone who isn’t drinking along with you.

 If you’re interested in learning more about the different levels of alcohol intoxication, contact our specialists at267.209.7312 to learn more about rehabilitation for alcohol abuse.