Many people consume alcohol every day, although a surprising number of individuals in the US consume too much. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are approximately 2,200 alcohol poisoning deaths per year, which is around six per day. Because not many people understand the limits of alcohol tolerance in the body, alcohol poisoning can occur rapidly, without much warning.
Alcohol poisoning occurs when a person consumes too much alcohol, which floods the bloodstream and begins to affect areas of the brain that control vital physical functions like breathing, heart rate, and temperature. Depressed or uneven breathing, cool body temperature, and seizures are all potential symptoms of alcohol poisoning.
While alcohol poisoning can occur if a person accidentally consumes ethanol through a household product or other form, for the most part, alcohol poisoning happens when a person drinks too many alcoholic beverages in too short a time. The liver can process one serving of alcohol per hour, with one serving being:
Statistically, 90 percent of binge drinkers who experienced alcohol poisoning were not dependent on alcohol.
EtOH (ethyl alcohol), or more commonly known as ethanol, is an intoxicating agent produced by sugar fermentation and distillation and is found in most common alcoholic beverages. Ethanol is a byproduct of fermentation, usually from grain; common ingredient that causes intoxication in alcoholic drinks.Rubbing alcohol, is sometimes substituted for ethanol due to its availability, can be found in most grocery stories and pharmacies and low cost. Rubbing alcohol typically contains about 70% isopropanol and 30% water that is a clear liquid commonly found in cosmetics, aftershave, lotions, disinfectants, hand sanitizers, antifreezes, solvents, inks, and pharmaceuticals.
Alcohol can be the cause of deaths from intoxication, poising, and increase health conditions that are brought on our made worse due to drinking alcohol. In 2017, the CDC published the National Vital Statistics Reports (NVSS) that states alcohol poisoning was the cause of 75,354 deaths in America, and alcohol poisoning was also the cause for 31% of injuries that lead to deaths.
Knowing how much alcohol is in your drink can help you calculate when you’ve had much or a dangerous amount of alcohol. Other factors like your age, gender, and medications or other substance you are taking can influence the amount of alcohol is too much for you.
Crossing the line from drunk to alcohol poisoning depends on the individual’s ability to process alcohol, their age, speed or drink, medication they are taking, and the amount of food that may be in a person’s system.
Symptoms of alcohol poisoning include:
Because the liver can only process one serving of alcohol per hour, if a person drinks two servings, there will be an extra unit in the person’s system, which takes extra time to process. Alcohol is typically consumed in liquid form as a drink, so it enters the bloodstream and goes to the brain via digestion in the stomach and intestines. This is one of the slower processes for consuming an intoxicating substance, which means that the number of drinks a person has consumed may not be completely in the bloodstream when the person begins to show symptoms of extreme alcohol intoxication or poisoning. The person could still be affected by continued digestion of alcohol, even if they are already suffering from alcohol poisoning.
Alcohol poisoning affects the body by:
In the event a person suffers from alcohol poisoning, immediately call 911. Stay with the individual to prevent accidental self-harm or to prevent the person from choking on their own vomit if unconscious. It is vitally important to get emergency medical help as soon as possible, even if the person is conscious and speaking, because there is likely more alcohol in the person’s stomach that will be processed, and this could increase the degree of alcohol poisoning.
After calling 911 for emergency medical help, there are other steps to take to help a person who is experiencing alcohol poisoning. These include:
Best action to take is to call 911 and wait for medical help to arrive. If you recognize symptoms of alcohol poisoning in a friend or loved one before they hit the critical stages, it’s best to get them to a hospital for immanent treatment.
In emergency situations, call 911 or take our loved one to the hospital.
What do they do at the hospital for alcohol poisoning? Once at the hospital a medical team will closely monitor the patient until their body is able to recover on its own. Some patients may need to receive treatment to help expel alcohol from the body faster. Is there an alcohol poisoning cure? Focusing on removing all alcohol from a patient’s system is the first step to treating and curing alcohol poisoning. Treatment may include inserting, IV drip, catheter to help bladder drain urine faster, or a tube inserted into a patient’s throat to remove any blockages and assist in breathing.
If someone you know is suffering from alcohol poising, you need to act fast. Here are a few things you should do:
Urban myths suggest that food, coffee, sudden shocks, or medication can help a person sober up faster. However, when a person is suffering from alcohol poisoning, the only way to help is to get emergency medical attention as quickly as possible.
If you suspect alcohol poisoning, call 911 and take some of the above steps. Do not perform any of the following:
Professional medical treatment for alcohol poisoning may include:
There are steps everyone can take to prevent alcohol poisoning. These steps include:
If a person experiences alcohol poisoning, it does not necessarily mean an alcohol use disorder, or alcoholism, is present, though people struggling with alcohol use disorder do have an increased risk of experiencing alcohol poisoning. Rehabilitation programs can help those in need to fully recover from alcohol abuse. Medical detox is always needed in cases of alcohol withdrawal since withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening in some instances. Comprehensive therapy should follow medical detox, ensuring the issues behind the substance abuse are fully addressed.