Alcohol Poisoning happens when there is too much alcohol in the body. Hence, it can affect the blood circulation and causes part of the brain to shut down. It is also called alcohol intoxication.
Alcohol intoxication usually starts mild. It will then grow worse. These are symptoms you should look out for:
- Slurred speech
- Smelling like alcohol
- Damp skin
- Throwing up
- Difficulty staying awake
- Slow breathing
- Long pauses between breaths
- Pale skin
- Low body temperature
- Very slow heartbeat
Alcohol is an antidepressant. It affects the brain and the nervous system. It slows down breathing and heart rate. The liver plays an important role in processing alcohol in the body. It keeps harmful parts of alcohol from getting into the bloodstream. However, if one drinks a lot of alcohol in a short time, the liver will not be able to do its part. Hence, it is what happens with alcohol poisoning.
Alcohol contains ethanol. Also, it is what causes alcohol intoxication. The main cause of this is binge drinking. Binge drinking is drinking a lot of alcohol in a short time. For men, this is having more than five drinks in less than 2 hours. It is four drinks or more at the same time for women. The body easily absorbs alcohol. It takes a shorter time than other nutrients. Despite this, it takes a lot more time to get rid of it. Alcohol will continue to release from the stomach even if you are passed out.
Do not disregard the Signs of Alcohol Poisoning. It may lead to more serious problems. These include:
- One might choke on their vomit. Alcohol limits gag reflex. There is a high chance to choke on your vomit if you are passed out.
- Severe dehydration. Vomiting will result in severe dehydration. Therefore, it will cause low blood pressure and fast heart rate.
- Brain damage. Heavy drinking increases the chance of irreversible brain damage.
- Heart attack. The body temperature can drop low enough to cause a heart attack.
- Irregular heartbeat. The poisoning can cause the heart to beat irregularly.
- Trouble breathing because of vomit
4. Risk Factors
Moreover, it is more common in men and middle-aged adults. Men tend to drink more than women. Taking prescription drugs is more likely to contribute to alcohol poisoning. And this is more common in middle-aged people than younger ones. Of course, this will be different for everyone. It will depend on one’s size, weight, alcohol tolerance, and overall health.
If you notice someone with Signs of Alcohol Poisoning, handle them with caution. It is an emergency. Call for help immediately. Please do not leave them alone. Try to keep them awake. Ensure that they are sitting upright. Make them sip water. Do this only if they are awake. If they pass out, get them on their side. Prevent them from choking on their vomit.
What to do?
Please do not give them a cold shower. It will only lower the body’s temperature. Also, do not give food because it will likely result in vomiting and choking. Likewise, do not allow a patient to walk it off. They do not have proper coordination. Therefore, it will likely lead to a fall. Lastly, please do not force them to throw up as it can cause choking. Provide information once medical rescue arrives. Tell them the kind and amount of alcohol taken.
If you have alcohol poisoning, doctors will pump your stomach. Hence, it will help to remove the leftover alcohol in the stomach. Also, it can prevent it from getting into your bloodstream. They can also give fluids through IV to prevent dehydration.
The best treatment for alcohol poisoning is prevention. Be mindful of your alcohol intake. Drink in moderation. Also, one must not drink more than two drinks a day if you are a man. For women, do not take more than one drink a day. Try to drink slowly. Alternate drinking alcoholic drinks with nonalcoholic drinks. Of course, your best option is water. Additionally, do not drink alcohol on an empty stomach.
Moreover, do not drink if you are taking prescription medicines. Eat before drinking. Food in the stomach will slow alcohol absorption. However, it does not mean that eating before will not cause alcohol poisoning. Do not forget to consider the amount you are taking in.