alcohol poisoning and detox

What You Should Know About Alcohol Poisoning

SoCal Detox
SoCal Detox

SoCal Detox editorial contributors include writers, editors, mental health and substance abuse treatment professionals who are trained to create credible and authoritative health information that is accurate, informative, and easy to understand.

The commercials on TV of attractive people throwing a few back, movies of people taking shots until they fall down, the weekday contention amongst friends that, “I can drink you under the table”—it’s these things and more. A major reason alcohol poisoning is so prevalent is the common misconception that alcohol is pretty much innocuous. But alcohol poisoning proves the immediate dangers of alcohol, and it can hit anyone at any time—the kids at the weekend party, the weekly dinner with friends, the guy at home alone with a bottle of bourbon.

Alcohol poisoning happens when a person imbibes large amounts of alcohol in short amounts of time. This kind of binge drinking can put enough alcohol in a person’s system to begin to shut down parts of the brain that control breathing, heart rate, and body temperature.

Overwhelming Your Body

When there is too much liquor in your system, your body simply can’t metabolize or eliminate it fast enough. Your stomach and intestines are the first in line to process alcohol, passing it straight through to the bloodstream. But your liver metabolizes the alcohol, and the more you add, the less it can handle, which raises the overall level of booze in your blood. Once levels get high enough, a person can stop breathing and have a suppressed gag reflex (they can’t vomit out the excess alcohol in their stomach).

*Please note: If you believe you or someone you are in contact with is currently experiencing alcohol poisoning, call 911. This is a life-threatening situation.

What Leads to Alcohol Poisoning?

Most likely binge drinking is going to be involved. However, a person with a high tolerance who has abstained for a period of time and come back to what used to be normal for them will be at risk. As well, anyone who has been using other drugs could be unaware of the amount of alcohol they have been consuming. Drinking games often lead to quick and copious amounts of drinking. As well, mixed drinks often get consumed at a greater pace and volume because they mask the presence of alcohol.

Physical Signs of Alcohol Poisoning:

  • Bluish skin color, especially around the lips or fingertips
  • Choking or struggling for air
  • Clammy skin
  • Coma
  • Confusion
  • Decreased gag reflex
  • Irregular breathing (more than 10 seconds between each breath)
  • Loss of bowel control
  • Low body temperature
  • Passing out/unconsciousness and inability to wake up or be woken up by others
  • Seizure
  • Shivering
  • Vomiting

Again, if you believe you or someone you are in contact with is experiencing alcohol poisoning, call 911. This is a life-threatening situation.

According to the CDC, alcohol dependence (alcoholism) has been identified as a contributing factor in 30 percent of all deaths due to alcohol poisoning, and other drugs were noted to have been a factor in about three percent of the deaths.

Get Out of the Binge

Drinking to excess is part of today’s culture. It is deadly and irresponsible. However, it happens every day of the year. At the same time and on the other end of the spectrum, every day people wake up and decide to refuse to let the mass market decide what is good for them. They decide that over-drinking (or binge drinking) is not sexy or fun or normal. What is sexy, fun, or normal about putting poison in your body or doing something that will kill you?

Often a person who is under the control of alcohol doesn’t want to change and/or doesn’t actually think it’s possible. They are wrong. People find recovery every day. They start off scared and unsure that it is even possible, and these same people come to find power in their journey. A self-confidence they never knew possible. And an approach to life that is filled with transformation.

Are you or someone you love struggling with alcohol addiction? Finding help could not only save your life, it could transform it. Call us today for a free evaluation: 888-590-0777.

Looking for more?

Here are the Signs of an Alcoholic

And here is What You Can Expect From an Alcohol Detox

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