Alcohol poisoning is very dangerous.
It can cause suffering and even end a life
Don’t let yourself fall into alcohol poisoning.
Binging alcohol is a very common habit among those who engage in social drinking. But this poses a lot of health risks, including one of the most dangerous results of alcohol abuse: alcohol poisoning. This is a very dangerous condition, and what many people don’t realize is that it could be fatal.
Alcohol poisoning occurs when the body has consumed more alcohol than it can process. This usually happens when a person drinks too much alcohol within a short span of time. The toxic effects of alcohol overwhelm the body, leading to severe impairment. If left untreated, it can lead to dangerous medical effects and even death.
In fact, alcohol poisoning is a major problem in the US. Over 2,000 Americans die every year as a result. This is an average of 6 people a day.
Anyone can experience alcohol poisoning, regardless of age, gender, weight, or alcohol tolerance. Anyone who binge drinks alcohol is in danger. Binge drinking is typically defined as five drinks in one sitting for men and four drinks for women.
The risk of alcohol poisoning is measured by a person’s Blood Animal Concentration or BAC level. BAC measures the percentage of how much alcohol is in the bloodstream. BAC levels are expressed as the weight of ethanol in grams, in 100 milliliters of blood. BAC levels can be determined from blood, breath, and urine tests.
Other factors such as age, weight, gender, metabolism, and alcohol tolerance can influence how quickly the body processes alcohol as well as the amount of alcohol it can tolerate. Because of this, two people who have consumed the same amount of alcohol may have substantially different levels of BAC.
BAC is therefore a more accurate way of measuring intoxication compared to just counting the number of drinks consumed. In most states, a BAC of .08 is considered legally intoxicated.
How Alcohol Poisoning Develops
Alcohol poisoning is a fast acting condition. A person can go from not having any drinks to being in a life-threatening situation in a matter of hours—possibly even less. If someone is suffering from alcohol poisoning, seek medical attention immediately.
This condition develops because the body can only process alcohol so quickly. The body breaks down alcohol in the liver. While everyone is slightly different, it is safe to say that the body can typically process 1 ounce of alcohol every hour. This is roughly how much alcohol is in one shot, one beer, or one glass of wine.
If a person drinks more alcohol before their body can break it down, then that alcohol remains in their bloodstream and increases their BAC. The more alcohol is consumed, the higher the BAC rises. This is especially true when alcohol is consumed quickly. This means that alcohol will have a greater impact on the body systems, causing impairment.
Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning
When a person becomes impaired, they begin to experience mild feelings of warmth and euphoria. Their inhibitions become lowered and moods become more pronounced. The person gains a boost in confidence as they become more social under the effects of alcohol.
As they take more alcohol, they suffer from more adverse effects: their vision, speech, reaction time, decision making, hearing, memory, and balance all become impaired. Eventually they become so impaired that they are essentially incapable of functioning. It becomes very difficult to walk.
At some point, the body will attempt to expel the toxic chemicals, which is what causes nausea and vomiting. The stage following that is usually a blackout, where the person becomes unaware of what they are doing, loses consciousness, and forgets what happened the next day.
It is possible to consume so much alcohol that it overwhelms the body and causes the person to go into a coma. Some people experience permanent brain damage, or suffer from cardiac arrest.
Common symptoms of alcohol poisoning include: coma, confusion, unresponsiveness, incoherency, vomiting, seizures, irregular or slow breathing, low body temperature, and pale skin.
Treating Alcohol Poisoning
Alcohol poisoning is 100 percent preventable. Only drink in moderation and abstain if possible. When drinking socially, make sure to drink slowly. Do not drink on an empty stomach as it causes the body to absorb alcohol too quickly.
When dealing with alcohol poisoning, the first step is to immediately call for medical attention. This condition is frequently fatal if untreated, and it can kill quickly. Call 911 or go to the hospital immediately.
While waiting for an ambulance, there are some first aid steps that can be taken in the meantime. First of all, make sure that the individual stays on their side if they are lying down and not on their back. This reduces the risk of death from choking on vomit. Do not leave them alone or unattended until help arrives. If possible get assistance from others and continue monitoring the person’s breathing.
If someone in the family is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, it is important to seek help. A combination of medical detox and behavioral therapy can go a long way in the fight against substance abuse. But because every individual is affected by addiction differently, a comprehensive program tailored to their specific needs is necessary. Look for a nearby addiction treatment facility today and find out how drug treatment programs work.
Rehab is Your Best Chance
Treatment is an addicted individualʼs best option if they want to recover. Beating an addiction not only requires eliminating the physical dependence, but also addressing the behavioral factors that prevent them from wanting to get better. Simply quitting may not change the psychological aspect of addiction. Some people quit for a while, and then take alcohol again, only to overdose because they did not detox properly. Recovery involves changing the way the patient feels, thinks, and behaves.