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Depending on the individual, effects of alcohol may be observed after as little as one standard drink. Most states in this country have designated a blood alcohol level of 0.08 g/dL as the legal limit of intoxication. Table 9–1 lists diagnostic criteria for alcohol intoxication as defined by the DSM-IV-TR (American Psychiatric Association 2000). In nonalcoholics, a blood alcohol level of 0.40 g/dL is associated with a 50% risk of mortality. In determining how quickly a person's blood alcohol level will decrease, one can use the rule of thumb that the body metabolizes approximately 1 drink (approximately 0.015 g/dL) per hour.

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Table Reference Number
TABLE 9–1. DSM-IV-TR criteria for alcohol intoxication
Table Reference Number
TABLE 9–2. DSM-IV-TR criteria for substance abuse
Table Reference Number
TABLE 9–3. DSM-IV-TR criteria for substance dependence
Table Reference Number
TABLE 9–4. DSM-IV-TR criteria for alcohol withdrawal

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