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Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning – Signs, Symptoms, Causes, Complications, Risk Factors, Treatments

Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning – Alcohol is one of the most commonly used mind-altering substances in the United States, but it can also be a deadly drug. Excessive alcohol consumption can result in sickness, poisoning, or an overdose. The following are signs and symptoms of alcohol poisoning to be aware of:

  • Confusion and sleepiness in the mind
  • It’s difficult to stay awake
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Breathing that is slowed or uneven
  • Skin that is clammy or pallid
  • Low Heart rate
  • Gagging is a condition in which the gag reflex is lost.
  • Body temperature is too low (maybe indicated by chills or shivers)

What is alcohol poisoning?

Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning
Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning

When a person consumes excessive alcohol in a short period, they become alcoholics. When a person has too much alcohol in their blood (i.e., a high blood alcohol concentration [BAC]), the parts of the brain that control essential life support activities begin to die down, this is referred to as alcohol poisoning alcoholism.

When a person consumes alcohol, ethanol passes through the digestive system and into the bloodstream through the stomach and intestine linings. When someone drinks alcohol on an empty stomach, their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) normally rises within 30–90 minutes.

Once ethanol enters the bloodstream, it can move throughout the body, influencing a variety of activities. By raising the amount of gamma-aminobutyric acid in the brain, ethanol disrupts the equilibrium of neurotransmitters. GABA, or gamma-aminobutyric acid, is an amino acid that lowers central nervous system activity.

Adenosine, an inhibitory neurotransmitter that promotes sleep, is likewise increased by ethanol. In the United States, a standard serving of alcohol is 0.6 fluid ounces (fl oz) or 14 grams (g) of pure alcohol. This equates to the following standard alcoholic beverages in single servings:

  • 12 ounces of beer with 5% alcohol content
  • a wine with a 12% alcohol content of 5 fl ounce
  • 1.5 fl oz of a 40% alcohol-by-volume distilled spirit

The liver filters alcohol out of the bloodstream, but it can only do so much at a time.

What Causes an Overdose of Alcohol?

Alcohol is a depressant that affects the central nervous system. Because it slows down your speech, movement, and reaction time, it’s classified as depression. It has an impact on all of your organs. When you drink more alcohol than your body can properly handle, you have an alcohol overdose: The stomach and small intestine absorb the alcohol quickly, and it reaches the bloodstream almost instantly. As you consume more alcohol, the amount of alcohol that enters your bloodstream increases.

Alcohol is broken down by the liver, but it can only do so much at once, as the liver can’t break down and gets sent to other parts of the body. Although everyone’s body processes alcohol differently, most people can handle it safely.

What is the Risk Factor of consuming too much alcohol?

The following are some of the most common risk factors for an alcohol overdose:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Body size
  • Patience
  • Indulge in excessive drinking
  • Drug use
  • Other health conditions
  • Age

Young adults are more likely to consume excessive amounts of alcohol, which can result in an overdose.

  • Gender

Men are more likely to binge drink than women, putting them at a larger risk of overdosing.

  • Sizes of the body

The rate at which your body absorbs alcohol is determined by your height and weight. Alcohol may harm someone with a smaller body more quickly than someone with a larger body. In fact, after drinking the same amount of alcohol that a larger-bodied person can safely consume, the smaller-bodied person may have an alcohol overdose.

  • Patience

Drinking speedily (for example, by playing drinking games) or having a high tolerance for alcohol can put you at risk for an alcohol overdose.

  • Indulge in excessive drinking

Heavy drinkers (those who consume more than five drinks in a single sitting)

  • Use of drugs

You may not experience the effects of alcohol if you combine it with other substances. This could lead to you drinking more, putting you at risk of an alcohol overdose.

  • Other medical problems

You may be more resistant to an alcohol overdose if you have other health problems, such as diabetes.

Type of alcoholic beverageAverage time to metabolize
A small shot of liquor
1 hour
Pint of beer2 hour
A large glass of wine3 hour
 Few drinksseveral hours

What are the Signs and Symptoms of an Overdose of Alcohol?

  • Overdosing on alcohol might cause the following symptoms:
  • Alterations in mental states, such as befuddlement
  • Vomit skin that is light or blue
  • A drop in the body’s temperature (hypothermia)
  • Dispensing (unconsciousness)

Because alcohol depresses your neurological system, consuming it at a rate quicker than your liver can digest it might result in catastrophic consequences. These complications include:

Breathing, heart rate, and gag reflex slowing or stopping, all of which are controlled by your neurological system cardiac arrest due to a drop in body temperature (hypothermia) seizures due to low blood sugar levels

  • To have an alcohol overdose, you don’t have to experience all of the symptoms listed above. 
  • If you fear someone has overdosed on alcohol and they are unconscious, do not leave them alone.

If they vomit, make sure they’re on their side. Because an alcohol overdose can block a person’s gag reflex, if they vomit while unconscious and resting on their back, they risk choking and potentially dying. Vomit can cause a person to stop breathing if inhaled into the lungs.

Until emergency medical help arrives, you should stay with the unconscious person.

Alcohol Poisoning: What to Do in an Urgent situation?

Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning
Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning

Take the following steps if you suspect someone you’re with has alcohol poisoning:

  • Immediately dial 911.
  • Don’t abandon the individual.Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning
  • Make every effort to keep them alert and sitting up straight.
  • If they’re awake, have them drink some water.
  • A hot blanket should be draped over them.
  • To keep them from choking on vomit if they’ve passed out, turn them onto their side.
  • Inform the paramedics of their symptoms and the amount of alcohol they consumed.
  • Do not engage in these activities. They have the ability to cause more harm than good.
  • Taking a cold bath with the person can help to lower their body temperature.
  • Giving them food can result in vomiting or choking.
  • Trying to get them to “walk it off,” which may result in a fall.
  • Attempting to make them vomit

How is an Alcohol Overdose Diagnosed?

Alcohol poisoning can be diagnosed by your doctor depending on your symptoms. They’ll also request blood and urine tests to see how much alcohol is in your system.

If you have an overdose, your doctor will inquire about your drinking habits as well as your medical history. Additional tests, including blood tests (to assess your blood alcohol and glucose levels) and urine tests, may be ordered by your doctor.

An alcohol overdose can harm your pancreas, which digests food and keeps track of your blood glucose levels. Alcohol poisoning might be indicated by low blood sugar.

What is the Treatment for an Alcohol Poisoning?

An overdose of alcohol is usually handled at the emergency room. Your vital indicators, such as heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature, will be monitored by the emergency room physician.

If you have more serious symptoms, such as seizures, your doctor may prescribe additional medications, such as:

  • Fluids or drugs are injected into a vein (intravenously).
  • Nutrition (such as thiamin or glucose) to prevent additional problems of alcohol poisoning, such as brain damage
  • Drugs to control seizure activity supplementary oxygen delivered through a mask or tube implanted in the nose.
  • Anti-epileptic drugs to reduce seizure activity

What are the long-term impacts of Alcohol Poisoning?

If you overdose on alcohol, your prognosis will be determined by the severity of the overdose and how promptly you seek treatment

The treatment of an alcohol overdose as soon as possible can save a person’s life. Severe alcohol overdose, on the other hand, can induce seizures and brain damage if oxygen to the brain is cut off. This harm may be irreversible.

Your long-term outlook will be quite excellent if you survive an overdose without these consequences.

What are the Complications of Alcohol Poisoning?

Alcohol poisoning can lead to a variety of issues in extreme situations, including:

  • Choked on your own vomit.
  • Have trouble breathing because you have vomit in your lungs.
  • Dehydration is a serious problem.
  • Hypothermia
  • Damage to the brain
  • Overdoses
  • Coma
  • Death due to a heart attack

What can you do to prevent an Alcoholic Overdose?

Controlling your alcohol intake can help you avoid an overdose. You might want to limit yourself to one drink or completely avoid alcohol. If you have a drinking problem, seek treatment.

Protect your loved ones from an alcohol overdose by taking action. Discuss the dangers of alcohol and the possibility of an overdose with your children.

If you’re going to drink alcohol, keep these tips in mind to avoid getting alcoholic:

  • Consume alcohol in quantity. Men must have no more than two drinks per day, while women should have no more than one.
  • Replace alcoholic beverages with nonalcoholic beverages, preferably water.
  • Don’t drink if you’re hungry.
  • Don’t drink if you’re using prescription or over-the-counter medications.
  • Playing drinking games, using funnels, or using beer bongs are all prohibited.

When it comes to Alcohol, how long does it stay in your system?

The period alcohol is detectable in the system is evaluated by the test.

  • Blood

The blood alcohol level (BAC) is used to find out how long alcohol remains in the system. Alcohol is often distant at a rate of 0.015 per hour. it’s significant to recollect that someone who drinks heavily or on an empty stomach may still have alcohol in their system the next day, making driving a car illegal.

  • Urine

The duration that alcohol can be detected in the urine is determined by the test utilized, as some urine tests are far more sensitive than others. Presently a test that can recognize alcohol consumption up to 80 hours, or 3 to 4 days, following a person’s last drink.

  • Breath

Alcohol can be noticed in the smell for up to 24 hours after the last drink, as part of normal breathalyzer testing.

  • Hair

Hair analysis can reveal the usage of a variety of chemicals, including alcohol. Alcohol can be found in the hair for up to 90 days after consuming an alcoholic beverage.

  • Breast milk

 As alcohol leaves the blood, it also leaves the milk, making it unnecessary to “pump and dump” breast milk after drinking alcohol. Pumping breast milk will not eliminate alcohol from the milk any quicker.

  • Saliva

Around 10-24 hours after the previous drink, trace levels of alcohol can be found in a saliva sample.

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Bottom Line

The duration of time alcohol can stay in your system is determined by several factors. The bottom line is that safety and moderation are essential. Limit yourself to a few drinks per week and avoid binge drinking. Also, if you’re drinking away from home, make sure you have a ride planned up. It’s never safe to drive with any level of alcohol in your system, even if you’re under the legal speed limit.

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