What Are the Signs of Alcohol Poisoning? - Blue Hills Recovery
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What Are the Signs of Alcohol Poisoning?

What Are the Signs of Alcohol Poisoning?

Signs of Alcohol Poisoning

Alcohol poisoning is a condition that happens when someone consumes a lot of alcohol over a short time. What are the signs of alcohol poisoning? Many people want to know the answer to this question. The severity of alcohol poisoning symptoms may vary. However, some signs include confusion, disorientation, fainting, unresponsiveness, coma, or even death. If someone has alcohol poisoning, it is an emergency. They need medical attention right away.   One of the leading causes of alcohol poisoning is binge drinking. Are you a man that often consumes five or more drinks in 2 hours? Are you a woman that consumes four or more drinks in 2 hours? If so, that is binge drinking. This type of drinking would also cause a person’s blood alcohol concentration to be .08 or higher.   Understanding more about the signs of alcohol poisoning can help a person know when to seek medical attention for themselves or someone else who is under the influence of alcohol.

Amount of Alcohol Needed to Overdose

Many people want to know how much alcohol causes an overdose. You may think that you will never overdose on alcohol because you have been drinking for years. The truth is you may have already had alcohol poisoning. There is not an exact amount of alcohol that causes poisoning. It varies depending on what type of beverages a person drinks and how quickly they drink it.   Do you want to get a better idea of how much alcohol is in various beverages? The examples include:
  • 5 ounces liquor (40% alcohol)
  • 5 ounces wine (12% alcohol)
  • 8 ounces malt liquor (7% alcohol)
  • 12 ounces beer (5% alcohol)
The toxic levels of alcohol won’t be the same for everyone. Your gender, age, weight, the amount you drink, and how quickly you drink will all affect whether you get alcohol poisoning.   The liver takes about 1 hour to metabolize 1 ounce of alcohol. The more you drink, the higher your BAC will go. If you have too much alcohol in your system, your liver will not metabolize it quickly enough. When that happens, the liver starts shutting down.   If you have a BAC of .30 or higher, it is likely life-threatening.

Signs of Alcohol Poisoning

It can be challenging to find out if someone has a toxic level of alcohol in their system. You may see someone that is very drunk. The person may have coordination issues or seem to have lost control of what they are doing. These are just some things that may signal alcohol poisoning.   Do you need to know how to recognize alcohol poisoning? Some other things you may notice include:
  • Stupor
  • Vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Slow breathing (8 breaths per minute or less)
  • Seizures
  • Hypothermia
  • Clammy, bluish-tinged, and pale skin
  • Trouble staying conscious
  • Incoherence
  • Unresponsive
  • Comatose
If someone has a high level of alcohol in their system, they may have overdosed on alcohol. If the levels are incredibly high, there may be permanent damage to the brain. The damage could affect temperature control, heart rate, breathing and more.

Tips for When You Suspect Alcohol Poisoning

There are more than 2,000 alcohol poisoning deaths every year in the United States. Most of the time, a person can avoid overdosing on alcohol by better understanding how their body reacts to alcohol.   It is also imperative to know how to handle alcohol overdose if you suspect it in someone else. You could save the person’s life by addressing the situation appropriately and promptly. If you notice any signs of alcohol poisoning in someone, make sure you contact 9-1-1 immediately.   You should keep the person awake as well as you can. They should sit upright. If they haven’t lost consciousness, get them talking. If you find someone who is unconscious, after dialing 9-1-1, get them on their side. Doing this can help stop them from choking.   If someone overdoses on alcohol, they can’t just sleep it off. They need to get medical help to get the alcohol out of their system.

Treatments for Alcohol Addiction

If someone has ever gotten alcohol poisoning, that doesn’t automatically mean they have an alcohol addiction. However, if it happens more than once or the person has difficulties abstaining from alcohol, it may be best to get treatment.   Many types of treatment can help someone overcome alcohol addiction. Some options include inpatient rehab services, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient treatment, and outpatient treatment.   What are the signs of alcohol poisoning? You read these signs above and now know what to do when you see them in someone.   If you overdose on alcohol and have trouble abstaining from alcohol, we can help you. Contact us today.
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