Alcohol Poisoning is a serious affair among society. Casual drinking is acceptable as long as it doesn’t make you addicted or interferes with your healthy life. And, on top of that, what if it becomes toxic in a short period of time? You must know that anything taken in excess is a poison.
Even if you take water in excess, it will work as a poison. So, if we talk about the intoxicant drug, alcohol, then it soon attains the rank of a poison if taken in EXCESS. Alcohol poisoning is all about heaviest drinking and the problems arising due to it. Let us study a little more.
What Is Alcohol Poisoning?
Alcohol poisoning is when the intoxicant substance, alcohol, becomes toxic for the body when taken in “severe” amounts. This poisoning occurs over a short period of time.
Alcohol works just like a poison, where it is harmful for the body and has the potential to put your life in danger. When you are having a drink, you must know how much to drink and how much your body accepts your drinking habit. The alcohol spreads in blood swiftly and becomes life threatening. Why? Contaminated blood does no good to body.
Alcohol Poisoning Definition
Alcohol poisoning is a “condition in which a toxic amount of alcohol has been consumed, usually in a short period of time”. The individual who is affected displays severe symptoms, such as extreme disorientation, unconsciousness, shallow breathing etc. It can be fatal as well, and lead to death directly. In such condition, emergency treatment needs to be provided.
What Causes Alcohol Poisoning
Alcohol is provided to the common people in different forms. It may be present in the beverages and drinks. It is also available as a part of mouthwashes and other syrups. Cooking extracts used commonly are usually having alcohol in them and there are other products as well which are being used in daily life. So, finding the exact cause of alcohol poisoning may be trivial task.
- Consuming alcohol in too much amount in a short period of time results in alcohol poisoning.
- Some kind of alcohol is also found in skin creams and lotions. This causes infection and severe symptoms on the skin itself.
- Binge drinking is another major cause for alcohol poisoning. Do you know what is binge drinking? It is a kind of heavy drinking. Have you seen in the movies that people who are in extreme pain or suffer from betrayal and grief go several bottles down and pass out? Binge drinking is when a person consumes about 4 to 5 alcoholic drinks, and passes out- all unconscious. If we talk upon the gender basis, the male consuming 5 or more drinks in two hours and the female consuming at least 4 drinks in two hours is said to do binge drinking. You will be amazed to know that even if you have finished your drinking, and you are lying unconscious, the alcohol keeps on being released into your bloodstream and your body keeps on intoxicating itself.
Alcohol Poisoning Level
To know exactly what is alcohol poisoning, you must know the exact levels of the alcohol which are suitable to your health and which are not suitable to your health. You must also know the time taken for absorption of alcohol and the capacity of your body to metabolise it.
When we eat food, it takes hours for absorption and assimilation. But, regarding alcohol, you need to know that it gets absorbed very quickly. The most difficult task is to get rid of it. It is not so easy to remove alcohol from your fresh bloodstream. The organ which metabolises alcohol is liver. Hence, the toxic amounts of alcohol are targeting liver the most.
Alcohol poisoning is all about consuming alcohol in toxic amounts in very short period of time. We said that 4 to 5 drinks in about two hours will make alcohol dangerous for you. But, how much is a “drink” exactly?
A drink counts:
- 355 ml of regular beer (containing 5% of alcohol)
- 260 ml of malt liquor (containing 7% alcohol)
- 150 ml of wine (containing 12% alcohol)
- 45 ml of hard liquor (containing 40% of alcohol)
Today, several drinks are made by mixing several flavours and beverages, which alters the alcohol percent of a pure drink, whether beer, wine or any other liquor.
Acute Alcohol Poisoning
Alcohol has been stated as a slow poison, and it can kill you swiftly even, if you drink too much in a short period of time. Our body is able to process a single unit of alcohol in one hour. And, just imagine, what if you are taking 4 to 5 drinks in two hours? Your body will not be able to process it quickly, and the amount of alcohol in your bloodstream will increase. The blood alcohol concentration level (BAC level) will become dangerously high!!
This situation can bring you down to a very dangerous level, where your life has to battle against the after-effects of alcohol poisoning. It can take your life away. It can make you short of breath and make your heart stop beating. It can choke you to death. How scary!
People misinterpret that alcohol poisoning cannot go further than having the symptoms of passing out or becoming unconscious. But, they are very wrong here. Because, alcohol slows down the overall working of the body.
Signs Of Alcohol Poisoning
Alcohol poisoning is the destructive condition. You may try to do some good to your loved one who is under this condition, but your actions may not be suitable. You may worsen the state of health. Thus, it is necessary for you to learn when to act and take a step forward to save a precious life. Stay alert and look for the following signs-
- The person is confused. Not the common confusion. The level is too high!
- There is lack of coordination in physical and mental actions.
- Vomiting and feeling of nausea is prevalent
- Seizures develop
- Slow breathing may take place (as slow as 8 breaths per minute)
- The skin turns pale.
- The body temperature is lowered down to great extent.
- The person is conscious, but not able to respond.
- The person passes out (also termed as unconsciousness)
Alcohol Poisoning Symptoms
Alcohol poisoning is life threatening. It can lead to coma, death as well as severe brain damage. The most severe symptoms are counted below:
- The person may choke on his or her vomit
- Breathing may get suddenly stopped.
- The person may also get a heart attack.
- Inhaling vomit can lead to severe damage to lungs.
- Dehydration situation is mostly observed, which is very harmful for the brain to function properly.
- Low blood sugar levels
Alcohol Poisoning Symptoms Next Day
Alcohol is a drug which you may find necessary while you feel low. But, it is actually a depressant drug, which once taken, slows down your body function rates. They also slow down the breathing rate, heart rate and blood pressure. It has the capacity to slow down processes to minimum, and this is not the way your body will function at its best.
Also, if the significant regions of the body are too much affected by the alcohol, you will fall unconscious. And, if you take a little more, then it will be the last straw which will break the camel’s back. Here, the camel’s back is your life.
Alcohol poisoning continues to spoil your body from within even after you have passed out or fallen unconscious. It will slowly reach your brain and once it gets there, the actual destruction begins.
Read the following cases. You will get to know how severe the symptoms are the other day of your drinking.
- A person was drunk one night. He puked once and then passed out. The next morning he woke up with some “hangover” and felt extreme nausea. He vomited twice and thrice, and could not even stand properly. Even sleeping doesn’t work in such a situation. The vision was blurred and extreme restlessness was there.
- Another guy went for binge drinking, and it was the second day after the night, that he had upset stomach and diarrhoea. Dizziness and confusion was persistent and brain was not able to function properly.
- A husband had drunk too much that the symptoms prevailed for full one week.
- Severe headache was witnessed by a man who had indulged into binge drinking last night. 30 hours and he was still suffering from such a bad condition.
The person is not able to carry out the usual daily life activities, and the brain damage is huge. You can get EXTREMELY sick!
How Long Does Alcohol Poisoning Last
Alcohol poisoning doesn’t actually act like “poisoning” within few hours only. But, as soon as you leave the night and enter a new day, the actual condition becomes visible. There is no definite time for poisoning symptoms to end. It depends upon the quantity taken and the effect of the quantity on an individual. Alcohol poisoning may last in just 24 hours or may take a few weeks. Small cases will cease down fast, but the extreme cases may lead to brain damage and liver problems. There are several other problems, which you can recall from above.
Alcohol Poisoning Death
Alcohol poisoning doesn’t actually lead to death directly. It depends on the way of dealing with the drunken person. People feel that making their drunken friend sleep will make him better and recovery easy. But, it is not true. In fact, this worsens the situation and the drunken friend may choke or inhale the vomit, which may lead to their death.
The blood circulation system becomes the alcohol circulation system, and the body is not able to function properly. If you read the cases of alcohol poisoning in teens and adolescents, your soul will shiver and you will realise how harsh the condition can be.
Alcohol Poisoning Treatment
The severe condition caused by alcohol poisoning calls for a quick treatment. It is very obvious that the individuals who are suffering from this poor condition can hardly help themselves. This calls for the parental care, family support and help of friends.
If someone shows the signs of alcohol poisoning, you should try to keep them awake and in a sitting position. Give them some water if they are able to drink it. Check if they are breathing and make them lie laterally so that they can recover fast. Try to cover them up with a blanket or shawl. Some warmth will help them. You have to stay with them and look after their needs for some time. Even if they are sleeping and you may feel that what a sleeping person might need, do not leave their side. Do not leave them alone at all.
You are highly recommended that you are not supposed to give some coffee to your friend. You may think that coffee can wake up a person and bring some energy, but you are wrong here. Coffee or tea will make the person more dehydrated. This in turn will worsen the situation. You may also think that putting some water will make the person become conscious. But, again, you are wrong here. Do not put them under cold shower and do not let them drink alcohol anymore.
We also recommend you that do not wait for all the signs and symptoms to show up. Take an action as soon as you notice any one or two symptoms. Make a call to a nearby healthcare provider and ensure proper treatment.
Do you know that each day, thousands of people are taking treatment for alcohol poisoning? The medical staff present there provides best set of tools and equipments, and makes sure that the person is treated carefully.
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