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What Happens During Alcohol Poisoning?

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Alcohol poising occurs when someone consumes too much alcohol at one time. This causes a flood of alcohol in the bloodstream and affects areas in the brain that are vital to control physical functions like heart rate, breathing, and body temperature. Alcohol poisoning generally happens when too much alcohol is consumed in a short period. Binge drinking is the most common reason for alcohol poisoning. Binge drinking involves having 4 or more drinks within 2 hours for women and 5 or more drinks within 2 hours for men. While binge drinking is mostly associated with the younger, college-age crowd, alcohol poisoning is more common in those who are between the ages of 35 and 64. Alcohol poisoning can be very dangerous and even life-threatening. What to Do If Someone Has Alcohol Poisoning?

How Do You Get Alcohol Poisoning?

Alcohol poisoning can happen from consuming any kind of alcohol including beer, wine, or liquor. Your stomach will digest and absorb the alcohol you drink. It will then enter the bloodstream and your blood alcohol content will begin to heighten. Your liver will then break down that alcohol, but when the blood alcohol levels are too high, your liver can become overwhelmed and is unable to remove the alcohol toxins quickly enough. All of that extra alcohol in your bloodstream then becomes a system depressant, meaning it reduces your body’s normal functioning. This is when breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature begin to go haywire. As your blood alcohol content keeps rising, the system depressant effects will continue to worsen.

Can You Die From Alcohol Poisoning?

Alcohol poisoning is not something that should be taken lightly. Since it is so dangerous, it is very important to know and understand the symptoms so that you can avoid putting yourself in a life-threatening situation or help someone else who may be. Common signs of alcohol poisoning include:

  • Confusion and slowed responses
  • Blackouts and amnesia
  • Loss of coordination and being unable to walk or stand properly
  • Blue colored, cold, and clammy skin around the lips and the fingernails
  • Difficulty or unable to remain conscious.
  • Hypothermia
  • Irregular pulse, breathing, or heartbeat. (Breathing intervals of 10 or more)
  • Issues with bowel and bladder control
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting and choking
  • A strong odor of alcohol

What to Do If Someone Has Alcohol Poisoning?

Treating alcohol poisoning and getting them the help they need can be the difference between life and death. Professional medical help is the best way you can help someone. There are a few different methods that can be used to treat alcohol poisoning. Medical providers may administer IV fluids to treat dehydration and also to increase blood sugar levels.  They may also give oxygen via a flexible tube that is put in the nose or down the windpipe since many people have trouble breathing properly. Stomach pumping is also used and is meant to clear a person’s stomach of toxins. In some instances, if a person’s kidneys are unable to do what they need, a medical professional may start dialysis to filter the alcohol from their blood. If you see someone who may have alcohol poisoning, there are a few things you can do to help them until medical help has arrived. Firstly, always call 911 for help. It is important to keep them awake and provide them water so they can stay hydrated and conscious. It is also important to keep them warm by covering them with a blanket since hypothermia is a symptom. It is also important to explain what is going on and why you’re doing what you’re doing so they do not become belligerent. If keeping them conscious is out of the question, make sure you prevent choking by turning them on their side in case they vomit. Alcohol poising is very dangerous and the best way to avoid it, to begin with, is to avoid binge drinking. Listen to your body and be watch how much you are drinking.

Evoke Wellness at Miramar – Alcoholism Help

If you or a loved one have an addiction to alcoholism, the most important step to avoid getting alcohol poison is to stop drinking. We at Evoke Wellness at Miramar have solution-focused treatment plans that can help anyone who is suffering from the grips of alcoholism. The best thing to do is start on the path to sobriety, as you will live a much happier and healthier life this way.