No matter how you look at it, consuming too much alcohol in too short a time span can be dangerous for your health. In fact, you can expose yourself to the risk of alcohol poisoning.
The more you drink, the higher your blood alcohol content (BAC) will rise. When your BAC has risen above manageable levels your ability to function physically, mentally, and emotionally will become severely impaired. During this time you will be highly susceptible to alcohol poisoning if you continue drinking.
Even if you decide to stop drinking at this point, you may still experience alcohol poisoning. BAC levels have been known to continue rising up to 40 minutes after your last drink.
How much do you have to drink to get alcohol poisoning?
On average it takes around 30 minutes for alcohol to make its way into your bloodstream. In addition, it takes approximately one hour for the human body to metabolize just 0.25 ounces of alcohol. When a significant amount of alcohol has been consumed in a relatively short span of time, your body isn’t given enough processing time to cope. As a result alcohol poisoning may occur.
It can be difficult to accurately gauge how much alcohol an individual can consume before alcohol poisoning becomes a risk. Keep in mind that factors such as weight, gender, and tolerance levels play a significant role in how much alcohol a person can drink before they’re at risk of alcohol poisoning.
By far the most significant risk of alcohol poisoning is binge drinking, which occurs when an individual consumes excessive amounts of alcohol in a single sitting. Binge drinking has a number of adverse side effects (aside from alcohol poisoning) which include blackouts, anemia, and unintentional injuries to name a few.
Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning
Alcohol poisoning comes with a medley of adverse side effects that serve as warning signs for anyone who has been drinking excessively. Waiting for these signs to manifest themselves, however, is never a good idea. Seeking professional help for a drinking problem sooner rather than later is the most intelligent course of action. Catching and treating the problem in its infancy can potentially prevent a life-threatening health complication from occurring.
Symptoms of alcohol poisoning often include:
- Irregular breathing
If you or someone you know experiences symptoms of alcohol poisoning, call emergency services immediately. Waiting for symptoms to pass on their own can possibly end in tragedy.
Who’s at risk of alcohol poisoning?
No one is immune to alcohol poisoning. With that being said, some groups are more susceptible to overdrinking than others such as middle-aged adults and college students.
Middle-aged men have statistically suffered the worst from instances of alcohol poisoning. Factors that include finding stable work and societal pressure have driven many middle aged men to drinking.
As we all likely know, college students are notorious for drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. Young adults who have graduated from high school and who head off to college often indulge in excessive behaviors due to their new found freedom. These excessive behaviors range greatly, but they usually include binge drinking. While binge drinking is often done to “fit in” it can lead to a lifetime of alcohol abuse and an increased chance of alcohol poisoning.
Helping someone with alcohol poisoning
If you believe someone has alcohol poisoning the most important thing you can do is call emergency medical services right away. In the interim there are a few things you can do to keep the situation under control:
- Keep the individual sitting in an upright position
- Don’t leave the individual alone
- Stay calm and do your best to keep the individual calm
- Keep the individual awake
- Listen to the instructions given to you over the phone by the operator
You have a significant role to play before emergency services arrive because your early actions may prevent an individual’s symptoms from worsening. Once emergency services have arrived the individual in question will be taken to the hospitable where they will be seen to by proper medical professionals.
Treatment is often determined by the amount of alcohol an individual has consumed and how severe their symptoms are. For instance, if the patient is dehydrated from having consumed too much alcohol, an IV drip may be inserted into one of their veins to keep them sufficiently hydrated.
If the alcohol poisoning is severe enough, pumping the toxins from a person’s stomach may be the best option to saving their life. Pumping expedites the process of clearing alcohol from the bloodstream, but it’s often done when the situation is especially dire.
What happens when you don’t treat alcohol poisoning?
Ignoring symptoms of alcohol poisoning for an extended period can lead to both short and long-term consequences that could potentially turn fatal if left untreated for too long.
Outright ignoring symptoms of alcohol poisoning can lead to a number of disastrous consequences that include:
- Irregular breathing
- Abnormal heartbeat
Sometimes we want to “wait things out” in the hope they will get better. This approach is simply not an option when it comes to alcohol poisoning. Ignoring symptoms can lead to the development of life-changing medical conditions and even death. It’s absolutely imperative that you contact emergency medical services as soon as you can even if you’re unsure whether or not someone has alcohol poisoning.
Reaching out for help
Alcohol poisoning is a dangerous result of excessive drinking. There’s nothing wrong with drinking in moderation, but understand that overdrinking can lead to disastrous unintended consequences. If you struggle with alcoholism, seek professional treatment to help you overcome your addiction. The road to recovery starts with you. Make the effort and reach out to an alcohol rehab center near before it’s too late.
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