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Blackouts and Alcohol Poisoning

It is important to know that a person’s BAC can continue to rise even when they are unconscious, so thinking the person will just “sleep it off” can be dangerous. Don’t be afraid to seek medical help for someone who has had too much to drink. Don’t worry that they may become angry or embarrassed – remember, you cared enough to help. At first, this may not seem like a major issue, but part of the reason that many people who overdrink vomit is that alcohol irritates the stomach. There is definitely an amount of alcohol that would cause anyone who drank it to experience an overdose, depending on someone’s age, gender, height, weight, health, and more. But, the amount of alcohol they can safely process is going to vary hugely in comparison to someone else.

In fact, it takes roughly one hour for the body to metabolize 0.25 ounces of alcohol. Because of this, alcohol can be absorbed into your bloodstream in as little as 30 minutes after drinking. Puking won’t lower a person’s BAC, but it can make a person even more dehydrated. This might make a person choke on their own vomit or breathe it into their lungs. If a person is so intoxicated to the point that they are non-responsive, not gasping for air, hyperventilating or not breathing at all, or showing any of the other signs of alcohol poisoning, get help immediately. If the person – who may sometimes be a child – has unintentionally drunk methanol or isopropyl alcohol and has alcohol poisoning they may need dialysis to speed up the removal of toxins from their system.

Alcohol Poisoning BAC (Blood Alcohol Content)

Alcohol poisoning is the dangerous result of consuming too much alcohol over a short period of time. If you drink too much alcohol too quickly, it can be life-threatening. No matter a person’s alcohol tolerance, weight, age or gender, alcohol poisoning can affect anyone. Alcohol poisoning occurs when a person’s blood alcohol level is so high it becomes toxic. This typically occurs when people consume excessive amounts of alcohol in a short space of time.

Blackouts, or alcohol induced amnesia, often occur when someone binge drinks or consumes a large amount of alcohol in a relatively short amount of time. In more serious cases of alcohol overdose, the patient’s stomach may be pumped to remove alcohol that has not metabolized. IV medication such as Valium may also be administered to lower the risk of deadly withdrawal symptoms such as seizures or delirium tremens (DTs). The only thing that reverses the effects of alcohol is time – something that is not available if you are suffering from alcohol poisoning.

Seek Professional Medical Treatment for an Alcohol Overdose

Consuming more than one ounce of alcohol per hour means that alcohol levels are building in the bloodstream. Large amounts of alcohol consumed too quickly can lead to alcohol poisoning. Toxic levels occur at around .40 BAC and leads to depression of the Central Nervous System, unconsciousness (passing out), respiratory and/or cardiac alcohol overdose failure, coma, and death. Death from alcohol poisoning has occurred in BAC levels as low as .20, especially in individuals who have a low tolerance for alcohol. Vomiting results from the body’s attempt to rid it from toxins. Individuals who pass out from acute alcohol poisoning can vomit while unconscious and asphyxiate.

alcohol overdose

When young adults head off to college and live on their own for the first time, they feel more free and independent. Social events, sports games and other gatherings are several activities that include heavy alcohol consumption and binge drinking. Students may face peer pressure to participate in drinking games to feel the effects of alcohol much faster. Because alcohol is a drug in the depressant category, an alcohol overdose can look very similar to an opioid overdose. In EITHER case it is vitally important that the first thing you do is call 911 without hesitation.

Alcohol Overdose

In addition to prescribing medications to treat uncomfortable symptoms, detox programs provide continual monitoring of your mental and physical status. Because the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can present suddenly or unexpectedly get worse, being under close medical supervision during this time is highly recommended and greatly improves your safety. Alcohol is dangerous, and detox must be taken into consideration before stopping. Per Cleveland Clinic, healthcare providers can pump the stomach of a patient who has overdosed on alcohol.

alcohol overdose

And many different factors affect the level of intoxication of an individual, so it’s difficult to gauge exactly how much is too much. It is common for someone who drank excessive alcohol to vomit since alcohol is an irritant to the stomach. There is then the danger of choking on vomit, which could cause death by asphyxiation in a person who is not conscious because of intoxication.

What Are the Symptoms of Alcohol Overdose?

The long-term effects of alcohol use disorder and alcoholism can be devastating. If you or a friend are drinking, pay attention to how much you consume and how quickly. If a friend appears to be drinking too much too fast, try to intervene and limit how much more they have. If you think that someone has alcohol poisoning, seek medical care right away. It’s not necessary to have all the above symptoms before seeking medical help. A person with alcohol poisoning who has passed out or can’t wake up could die.

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But when blood alcohol levels are high, your overwhelmed liver can’t remove the toxins quickly enough. As the blood alcohol content rises, so do the effects of alcohol. Even smaller increases in BAC can impair coordination, cause vomiting, and cloud judgment. This can lead to injuries, car crashes, and leave a person vulnerable to sexual assault and violence.