Despite what many may believe, alcohol poisoning can affect anyone and is not limited to the stereotypical “alcoholic” or first-time teenage partygoer. Alcohol poisoning can happen if you’re out celebrating with friends after a big job win or even having some wine alone at home during an emotionally difficult time. It can occur intentionally or because of losing count or even being overserved. Whatever the case, when alcohol poisoning happens, it indicates something is wrong and should be addressed immediately.
For many, it’s a similar experience. They’ve had a few too many drinks and have become violently ill as a result. Nausea becomes overwhelming, and they complain of a pounding headache. In severe cases, individuals may lose complete control of their bodily functions and consciousness. At this point, they and others may suspect alcohol poisoning is occurring.
Did you know that alcohol poisoning kills over 2,000 people a year? And for every person who dies from poisoning, dozens more are hospitalized. Alcohol poisoning is a severe problem and one that many don’t want to talk about or draw attention to. In this blog post about alcohol poisoning, we will discuss alcohol misuse, its symptoms, how it can be avoided, and how to handle poisoning if it does happen.
GateHouse Treatment is an alcohol and drug rehabilitation center for long-term recovery from substance abuse that offers an individualized approach to addiction treatment. If you’re struggling with alcohol or alcohol poisoning, click here for more information about us.
What Is Alcohol Poisoning?
Alcohol poisoning is a condition that occurs when an individual drinks too much alcohol in a short time. This binge drinking can cause the body to become overwhelmed by the alcohol content and unable to process the alcohol quickly enough. When this happens, the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) rises to dangerous levels. This can lead to serious health complications, including coma and death.
Additionally, alcohol poisoning can lead to blacking out, which results in long gaps with no memory. This is especially dangerous as it can make the individual vulnerable to assault, rape, theft, or the victim of other non-consensual criminal activity.
What Are the Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning?
The symptoms of poisoning include confusion, vomiting, sweating, inability to remain conscious, irregular breathing, pale or blue-tinged skin, and seizures. If you notice someone exhibiting any of these poisoning symptoms after drinking heavily, it is vital to seek medical attention immediately.
Why Is Alcohol Poisoning So Common?
There are many reasons why poisoning is such a shared experience. First, alcohol is federally legal and generally accepted by much of society. During many occasions, whether celebratory or sad, drinking is encouraged. In fact, in many cases, the individual not consuming alcohol receives increased attention and questioning as to why they don’t drink.
Additionally, drinking culture affects individuals in early childhood and conditions them to believe specific manufactured messages about alcohol. Popular culture and media depict drinking alcohol as making life more fun, sophisticated, and sexy. Over time these marketing messages designed to increase alcohol sales can lead to warped perceptions about alcohol, excessive consumption, and misuse. While not everyone exposed to these cultural messages, risks, and marketing will go on to experience alcohol poisoning, many do.
Lastly, excessive drinking has become a common aspect of the high school and college experience. Drinking too much is a universal aspect of growing up and a general pastime. These established ideas gravely influence drinking behavior and increase the prominence of alcohol abuse.
What Are the Dangers of Alcohol Poisoning?
Poisoning from alcohol is a dangerous risk of consuming alcohol, and it can threaten the health of even casual drinkers if they exceed their limit. The symptoms of poisoning can be debilitating, but at extreme levels, individuals may stop breathing altogether, suffer seizures, or experience hypothermia due to loss of body heat while intoxicated. In addition to these physical consequences, alcohol poisoning can also cause long-term damage to the liver and other organs.
For any kind of drinker, it is critical to be aware of the dangers of alcohol poisoning to protect yourself from the potentially life-altering consequences of one dangerous night.
What Steps Can You Take to Avoid Alcohol Poisoning?
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to avoid abusing alcohol in the first place. Here are a few:
1) Know Your Limits.
Don’t drink more than you can handle. Additionally, be aware of how many drinks you’ve had. If you feel pressure to drink in excess from on-goers, remove yourself from the situation and get some fresh air.
2) Take Alcohol Breaks between Beverages.
Drinking responsibly means being sure to hydrate between alcoholic drinks and eating frequently. Between cocktails or beers, drink a non-alcoholic soda or ice water.
3) Never Mix Alcohol with Other Drugs.
Mixing drugs and alcohol can increase the risk of overdose and poisoning.
4) Learn the Signs of Alcohol Poisoning.
Researching and reading blogs like this will help you develop an awareness of poisoning signs. If you or a friend is experiencing poisoning, this knowledge will help you know when it’s time to seek help.
6) Eat before You Drink.
Eating before you drink will ensure that you have something in your stomach and may lower your blood alcohol content.
5. Stick to Light Beers or Wines.
If you know you may drink more than one, consider sticking to a lighter drink with a lower alcohol content.
What Should You Do if You Suspect Someone of Having Alcohol Poisoning?
Alcohol misuse has become an increasingly common problem, so it’s critical to be aware of the dangers of alcohol poisoning if you’re around people consuming alcohol. Although the signs and symptoms associated with alcoholism vary from person to person, the ones mentioned above are the most common. If these symptoms are present, immediately seek medical attention to prevent long-term damage or possible death due to alcohol misuse. This may mean calling an ambulance or taking the individual to the nearest emergency room.
Additionally, you may consider reaching out to a Gatehouse Admissions Expert to discuss treatment options and possible next steps. Rehabilitation may be your best option.
Does Alcohol Poisoning Indicate That I Have a Substance Abuse Problem?
Alcohol poisoning is a serious, potentially fatal consequence of alcohol misuse and should always be taken seriously as an indication of a possible substance abuse problem. While consuming large amounts of alcohol can sometimes be accepted in specific social contexts, when alcohol misuse occurs, it often signals a disconnect and possible internal struggle. Excessive alcohol consumption may seem harmless, but it can potentially ruin lives.
What Resources Are Available for Those Struggling with Alcohol Poisoning?
For those struggling with alcoholism or poisoning, many resources and organizations can provide invaluable assistance. These include groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, which offer support from fellow individuals familiar with substance abuse struggles. Additionally, some rehabilitation facilities specialize in helping individuals overcome alcoholism and addiction.
For others, online programs can serve as a guide for those seeking assistance and support. Lastly, many communities have counseling services, support groups, and medical professionals experienced in alcohol use treatment and alcohol poisoning prevention.With the right knowledge and proper support, those affected by alcoholism and alcohol poisoning can find the hope to break free from the chaos for good.
Why Is Understanding Alcohol Poisoning Significant?
By being aware of the dangers of alcohol poisoning and taking proactive steps to avoid it, you can help ensure that your nights out don’t end in tragedy. Stay safe and always drink responsibly.
GateHouse Treatment Understands That Recovery Is a Journey.
Here at GateHouse Treatment, our staff is devoted to helping every individual struggling rise above the adversity addiction brings. Knowing the facts can genuinely save a life if you or someone close is struggling with substance abuse. If you’re ready for freedom, we can help. Call us at (855) 448-3588 or contact us to stop the cycle of addiction today.