Alcohol Poisoning

    Alcohol poisoning is a serious outcome of drinking high amount of alcohol in short period of time. Consuming too much alcohol too quickly can be life-threatening, irrespective of the tolerance capacity, body weight, gender or age of the person. In case of of excessive drinking, body alcohol content (BAC) level keeps rising. Eventually, it becomes so high that it can also disturb body's mental, physical, and emotional functions, and can even put life at risk. Alcohol poisoning can cause troubled breathing, irregular heartbeat, and other serious complications. A person suffering with alcohol poisoning requires immediate medical attention, therefore, it is important to avoid excessive alcohol consumption and be aware of the ill effects it can cause to the body, mentally and physically.

    Sign and Symptoms Of Alcohol Poisoning


    People show varied symptoms after drinking which get mild to worse with time. Common symptoms are:


    • Loss of coordination
    • Confusion
    • Slurred speech
    • Irregular breathing rate
    • Vomiting
    • Being unconscious
    • Being conscious but unresponsive
    • Low body temperature
    • Pale skin


    Adverse Effects Of Excessive Alcohol In The Body


    • Slowing of brain function
    • Upset stomach causing vomiting
    • Negative affects on the nerves that control breathing and heart rate
    • Dehydration
    • Lowering of the body temperature resulting in hypothermia
    • Lowering of blood sugar levels causing hypoglycemia

    What Causes Alcohol Poisoning?


    Binge drinking is the most common cause of alcohol poisoning. Alcohol beverages contain the chemical ethyl alcohol or ethanol that is responsible for causing poisoning. Binge drinking increases the amount of ethanol in the bloodstream. The alcohol continues to be released from the stomach and intestine and the alcohol level keeps on rising even when the person is unconscious or has stopped alcohol consumption.


    Every time when a person drinks alcohol, the liver has to filter out the alcohol from the blood. The human body can absorb alcohol much faster than it can absorb food. However, the liver can only process a limited quantity of alcohol. The body takes a lot of time to get rid of alcohol (excluding metabolized) that has been consumed. So more an individual drinks, the greater is the risk of alcohol poisoning that might result in various complications such as choking, seizures, severe dehydration, irregular heartbeat, hypothermia, brain dysfunction, etc.

    How can one prevent alcohol poisoning?


    • Always drink in moderation
    • Avoid drinking empty stomach
    • Avoid drinking while taking prescription medications
    • Get follow-up care
    • Quit it entirely if possible

    Things to do if someone is showing signs and symptoms of alcohol poisoning


    • Try to keep them awake
    • Give them sips of water, if they are in a position to drink
    • Make them lie in a recovery position if they have passed out and check their breathing rate
    • Keep them warm
    • Never leave the person to sleep it off
    • Monitor their symptoms
    • Don’t give them cold shower as it can lower the body temperature
    • Avoid giving them food, it may cause vomiting and choking

    Untreated and ignored cases of alcohol poisoning can be detrimental to that individual’s health. Untreated alcohol can lead to short and long-term side effects such as hypothermia, hypoglycemia, permanent brain damage, abnormal breathing, coma, and other diseases.



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