What is Alcohol Poisoning?
Alcohol poisoning, or alcohol overdose, is the result of drinking large amounts of alcohol in a short period of time. Typically a person suffering from alcoholism. Approximately 6 people die from alcohol poisoning each day in the US. Alcohol depresses nerves that control breathing, heart rate and body temperature. Consuming high levels of alcohol quickly (also known as binge drinking) can shut down these critical areas of the brain, resulting in coma or death. Recent coverage of fraternity hazing deaths from alcohol poisoning, such as Timothy Piazza’s, has brought awareness to this growing problem.
Signs of Alcohol Poisoning
A person with alcohol poisoning needs medical attention. If you recognize any of these signs in a person who is intoxicated, call 911 immediately. A person does not have to have all of these signs to have alcohol poisoning.
- Mental confusion or stupor
- Slow breathing (8 or fewer breaths per minute)
- Irregular breathing (more than 10 seconds between breaths)
- Low body temperature (hypothermia), bluish skin color, pale skin
- Inability to wake up, passing out (unconsciousness)
Dangers of Binge Drinking
Binge drinking is dangerous and can lead to alcohol poisoning. Binge drinking is having 5 or more drinks within two hours for men, 4 or more for women. In fact, on average, binge drinkers in the US drink 8 drinks per binge, resulting in high levels of alcohol in the body. Also, even after a person takes their last drink, their blood alcohol concentration can continue to rise to deadly levels.
Long-Term Effects of Alcohol
Alcohol poisoning is one of many long-term effects of alcohol. Furthermore, other risks include brain damage, liver damage, stroke, and cardiovascular disease. Binge drinkers are more likely to develop an alcohol use disorder (AUD). AUD is characterized by compulsive alcohol use, loss of control over alcohol, and a negative emotional state when not drinking.
Are you worried that you or a loved one is an Alcoholic?
Reach out to us if you think you or someone you know is on the way to becoming an alcoholic. If you or someone you love has a problem with alcohol or is a binge drinker, don’t wait until they are in danger. D’Amore Healthcare is here to help. No life is worth risking!
Our compassionate, professional support staff is available 24 hours a day to provide guidance and help. You don’t have to do this alone!