Futures Recovery

The Signs of Alcohol Poisoning

Alcohol Poisoning can put you or someone you love in immediate danger. If you suspect alcohol poisoning, please call 911. After the situation is stabilized, call Futures immediately to start safe detox and treatment. Next-day treatment may be possible.

Did you know that an individual can experience an alcohol-related “blackout” and be fully conscious? If someone ingests too much alcohol, he or she might pass out, which is often mistaken for falling suddenly asleep, but it is actually a life-threatening condition. If a person experiences a blackout, he or she might still be awake, still be drinking and have no recollection of the events the next day. These situations could also involve another life-threatening condition: alcohol poisoning. Alcohol poisoning is often the result of binge drinking, or consuming a large amount of alcohol in a very short amount of time.

When alcohol poisoning happens, the level of alcohol in the body actually becomes toxic and it can kill the person if it is not treated. This can be especially dangerous because, unlike other drugs of abuse, alcohol continues to build up in the blood and body even after someone has stopped consuming it. For example, if someone has consumed cocaine and then they stop using it, the substances in their body will continue to metabolize out of the body, and it immediately begins to decrease its effects.

When it comes to alcohol, however, the alcohol is digested like any other beverage. It must metabolize through the liver and into the bloodstream before the individual begins to feel the effects. This means that when a person decides they have “had enough,” it is already too late. Their last few drinks have not yet metabolized and will continue to increase the blood alcohol levels. If a person drinks so much that they have passed out (remember, this is different than falling asleep by choice), their blood alcohol content will continue to rise rather than fall for quite some time. The symptoms of alcohol poisoning begin with confusion and, if one isn’t careful, can end with coma and death. But there are some signs of alcohol poisoning in between these two elements. These symptoms include:

  • Hypothermia; the body temperature drops dangerously low
  • Slowed breathing; if breathing falls below eight breaths per minute, the body is not receiving enough oxygen
  • Pale or bluish complexion
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting

Vomiting is, among other things, a reflex of the human body to expel something that is dangerous to the person who ingested it. If an individual has consumed so much alcohol that the body itself is rejecting it, this is a sign of a significant problem.

Treatment for Alcohol Poisoning

If someone you love suffers from alcoholism, it is important to not only recognize the signs of alcohol poisoning but also to know what to do if you suspect your loved one may be in significant and immediate danger. Be prepared to call 911 should it be necessary. Do not second-guess yourself if the time comes. It is better to have called for help and not needed it than to hesitate and make that call too late.

If your loved one is unconscious, meaning you cannot rouse them with normal stimulus such as calling their name or giving physical contact, it is time to get immediate help. Their blood alcohol content may have reached the point where their life is in danger and medical professionals will be required to mitigate these effects.

If you, or someone you love, suffers from alcohol abuse and addiction issues, contact Futures Recovery Healthcare. We can help you or a loved one overcome alcoholism.