Unfortunately, there have been thousands of deaths every year in the United States alone, due to alcohol poisoning. There are far too many people who don’t understand the full dangers of alcohol and the pressure it puts the body through. When someone consumes many alcoholic beverages in a short amount of time, their body may not be able to handle it. Since many alcoholic beverages in that short amount of time fills the bloodstream rapidly, it starts affecting parts of the brain that are in control over things such as body temperature, heart rate, breathing and other physical functions. If someone has alcohol poisoning, they can experience many things including a significant drop in body temperature, labored breathing or even seizures.

Alcohol poisoning doesn’t only occur from drinking a lot at one time. It could happen by accident if someone consumes household products with ethanol. The liver can’t handle many alcoholic beverages in a short amount of time. The most the liver can handle is approximately twelve ounces of beer, five ounces of wine, eight ounces of liquor or one and a half ounces of a drink such as rum or whiskey. Let take a deeper look into: What is alcohol poisoning?

How Does Binge Drinking Affect the Risk of Alcohol Poisoning?

Binge drinking is not something to take lightly. It is one of the leading causes for alcohol poisoning and alcohol-related fatalities in the United States. Binge drinking is classified as consuming a minimum of four alcoholic beverages within two hours for any woman and a minimum of five alcoholic beverages within two hours for any man. While many people believe that only college students binge drink, that isn’t accurate. Mostly adults between the age of 35 and 64 suffered from alcohol poisoning which was much higher than the rate of college students. There are many reasons why this could be the case. Some of those factors could be that middle-aged adults might be taking other medications and their body can’t tolerate as much alcohol. It may be surprising to know that around ninety percent of those who binge drink and had gotten alcohol poisoning weren’t alcohol dependent. Although, an alcohol use disorder did factor into around thirty percent of the deaths related to alcohol. If you are a binge drinker, please ask an addiction treatment specialist for help.

What Are Some Alcohol Poisoning Effects on One’s Body?

The effects of alcohol poisoning and alcohol poisoning signs could change from one person to the next, as alcohol does effect everyone a bit differently. However, the effects of alcohol poisoning are generally the same. Since the liver isn’t able to process more than the amount mentioned above, anyone who drinks more than that is at risk of alcohol poisoning.

People who experience alcohol poisoning have reduced brain functioning, including coordination and balance issues. From there, they may experience stomach irritation and vomiting. The gag reflex is stopped which often leads to this person choking on vomit. The nerves which control breathing and heartbeat are also slowed down or may quit completely. Blood sugar is dropped significantly which could cause seizures. Additionally, body temperature is lowered which might lead to hypothermia and the body is dehydrated which could cause brain damage. As you can see, the damage done by alcohol poisoning is often severe and could be fatal.

Many people believe that because they have consumed many alcoholic beverages before and not gotten alcohol poisoning or shown any signs of alcohol poisoning, that won’t ever happen to them. That is not the case. If you have been consuming more alcoholic beverages than mentioned above, be sure to get addiction treatment help before alcohol poisoning occurs.

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What Are Some Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning?

Just as with the effects from alcohol poisoning, the symptoms may vary a bit from one person to the next as well. If you are concerned that someone might have alcohol poisoning, it is important to seek medical attention right away. There are alcohol poisoning symptoms that others might notice if you have alcohol poisoning as well.

Some of the most commonly noted symptoms with alcohol poisoning are vomiting, confusion, disorientation, unable to keep conscious, hypothermia, clammy or cold skin, reduced physical coordination, irregular pulse, seizures, labored breathing, losing bladder or bowel control, blue-colored skin and choking.

Keep in mind that any single one of these symptoms could become life threatening. If you suspect someone has alcohol poisoning or is showing symptoms of alcohol poisoning, you should get them to an emergency room or under medical supervision immediately. Addiction rehab centers have detox programs which can help after emergency medical help as well.

How Can You Assist Someone Who Has Alcohol Poisoning?

If you know someone who is suffering with alcohol poisoning, contact 9-1-1 or take them directly to the emergency room. You should stay by that person to make sure they don’t accidently harm themselves or choke on vomit. If they are unconscious, that could happen. The emergency help is the first and most important thing to do, even if they are still conscious and talking. It is highly likely that there is still alcohol in their body that needs to be processed, which would make the symptoms even worse.

After you have gotten this person emergency medical supervision, there are some other things you can do to assist them. You should keep them awake if this is possible. Let them know what you are doing. For example, if you are going to touch them or do anything, let them know, so they don’t get aggressive. Make sure this person sits down. If they are still conscious, see if they will drink some water, but slowly. If they are unconscious, roll them to one side and put each arm above their head. This will help to prevent them from choking on vomit. You should also bring them a warm blanket since alcohol poisoning has likely lowered their body temperature. After they get emergency medical help, hopefully they will see that alcohol addiction treatment is needed.

What Shouldn’t You Do When Someone Has Alcohol Poisoning?

Now that you have learned what you should do if someone has alcohol poisoning, there are some things you shouldn’t do as well. You shouldn’t try to give them anything to drink except for the water mentioned above. They should not have anything to eat either. They could choke on the food. You should not give them medications. The combination of medications and alcohol could make things worse. Don’t try to have them vomit because they would likely choke on it. You should not have them walk because they could easily fall and get injured. You should not put them in a cold bath or shower because that would lower their body temperature even more. You shouldn’t get them to fall asleep if they are conscious. Never leave someone with alcohol poisoning alone and don’t let them consume any more alcohol.

What is Done for Someone with Alcohol Poisoning?

When you get someone with alcohol poisoning emergency medical treatment, they will get monitored by nurses and doctors. They may be intubated to help in preventing choking. Oxygen therapy and IV fluids will be used. They would receive glucose and vitamins to increase blood sugar. Their stomach will be pumped to get the remaining alcohol out of their stomach. They may receive hemodialysis to filter toxins out of their blood. Remember, emergency medical help is the first step and rehab treatment can come afterwards.

If you suspect someone has alcohol poisoning, be sure to get them immediate emergency medical help. You can speak with afterwards about getting them into an addiction rehab treatment program.

Want more information about how Chapters Capistrano can help? Feel free to call 949-276-2886 and one of our addiction specialists will help get the information and help you need.

Medical disclaimer:

Chapters Capistrano strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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