Acute alcohol poisoning can be difficult to spot initially. Whether a few or several drinks were consumed, it depends on the individual how the body processes the alcohol. Knowing the signs and symptoms of alcohol poisoning could save someone’s life.
Effects of Alcohol
Alcohol is essential a toxin, a poison. The body can only process a small amount of alcohol per hour. Bingeing, or drinking a large amount in a small period of time, can have dangerous, even lethal, consequences. However, even drinking small amounts can lead to high toxicity levels in the body. Some of the effects of drinking alcohol include slowed brain function, loss of balance, irritation of the stomach causing vomiting. Sometimes the gag reflex stops working properly after too many drinks which can cause a person to choke on their own vomit. Dehydration, lowered body and blood sugar levels are all dangerous side effects of drinking alcohol.
Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning
There are some crucial symptoms to watch for in someone who is drinking alcohol. If these symptoms arise, the person may require medical attention. Included are symptoms such as confusion, loss of coordination, vomiting, seizures, irregular or slowed breathing, pale skin (blue-tinged), low body temperature and unconsciousness. Any one of these symptoms are serious, but in combination may be lethal.
Myth vs Fact
Many preconceived notions of what is helpful to do when someone has drunk too much can do more harm than good. Below are some myths which prevail and the facts, or truth, of what should be done to help someone who has taken in too much alcohol.
Myth: Let someone sleep it off, they will feel better in the morning.
Truth: The amount of alcohol in a person’s body rises even when not drinking. Too much alcohol can cause the body to stop working properly.
Myth: Make them sick or throw up to help them feel better.
Truth: The gag reflex can stop working after too much alcohol and the person may choke on their own vomit.
Myth: Give them coffee to “sober them up.”
Truth: Alcohol consumption leads to dehydration in the body. Caffeine from coffee compounds this by further dehydrating a person which can lead to dangerously low levels of water in the body leading to permanent brain damage.
Alcohol poisoning is a serious health hazard which can lead to permanent damage or even death. Hundreds of people every weekend go to the hospital with poisoning and require medical staff attention to properly treat the symptoms. Looking for the symptoms and signs of poisoning is important to getting a person help before it is too late.
If yourself or a loved one struggles with drinking too much alcohol, Hired Power has trained professional counselors and therapists available to help.
Call us today at 800-910-9299 to learn how we can support you.