The chemistry of the human body relies heavily on maintaining a healthy supply of oxygen in your bloodstream. Certain substances, like alcohol and caffeine, play with the balance of oxygen available to your brain.
Traditional wisdom says that you can get drunk faster at higher elevations. It makes sense. Alcohol reduces available blood oxygen while your body metabolizes a drink. So lower atmospheric oxygen should make the process even worse, right? Well, the answer is yes and no. Your blood-alcohol level won’t actually be any higher after four drinks in Park City than it would be after four drinks in Seattle or New York. But your mental faculties will be more impaired.
Why? Your brain is already impaired before drink number one in Park City. Any dizziness, nausea, fatigue, and headaches you may experience as a result of your intoxication are just piled on top of the symptoms you may already be experiencing as a result of our elevation.
So, you won’t actually be more intoxicated while you party it up at High West Saloon. But you should exercise caution while partaking of any substance that might affect your cognitive functions while hanging out at 7,000 feet above sea level.