Alcohol Poisoning: Signs And Symptoms

Alcohol Poisoning: Signs And Symptoms

Alcohol poisoning is a dangerous condition. The consequences of alcohol poisoning can result in severe health issues, some of which can be permanent. The signs of alcohol poisoning may be difficult to distinguish, but need to be identified so the person can receive prompt medical care. Those who are suffering from alcohol abuse are at a heightened risk, but alcohol poisoning can happen to anyone. Understanding alcohol poisoning in its entirety will help to prevent the condition from occurring.

What is Alcohol Poisoning?

Alcohol poisoning is a condition that occurs when someone has consumed more alcohol than your body can handle. Alcohol is considered a toxin and your bodywork to flush it out as soon as it enters. Your bloodstream carries alcohol toward other vital organs. While accidental alcohol poisoning can occur, due to the consumption of ethanol products (mouthwash), it mostly occurs due to the overconsumption of alcoholic beverages. The consequences can be life-altering and may even lead the person experiencing a coma or even death. You may still be able to continue drinking, even when you have consumed enough to be considered poison. This is because your bloodstream is carrying the alcohol and your alcohol content is continuing to rise.

While the cause of alcohol poisoning is the overconsumption of alcohol, there are major factors that can lead to alcohol poisoning. One of these is if someone is a binge drinker. A binge drinker has a higher probability that they will experience alcohol poisoning. This is because binge drinking is when someone has a regular pattern of consuming many alcoholic drinks quickly. Binge episodes can last as short as a few hours to as long as a day or two. A binge drinker may not necessarily be a heavy drinker. Binge episodes could happen only occasionally. A heavy drinker is someone who drinks a high amount of alcohol often. They also have a higher risk of experiencing alcohol poisoning.

If you or a loved one is suffering from alcoholism, they also have a heightened risk. This powerful disease will cause your loved one to seek out alcohol, regardless of the consequences. Those with alcoholism may be especially in danger because their tolerance levels will have risen due to the addiction. If you or someone you know is suffering from alcohol abuse or addiction, it is important to seek treatment immediately.

How Much Can I Drink?

As soon as you take your first sip of alcohol, your body begins working to flush out the toxin. Many people wonder how much alcohol is too much for their body to handle. There is actually no clear cut answer that would help you identify a set amount. Any amount of alcohol can cause significant damage to your body, some of which is life-threatening. Alcohol poisoning normally occurs when too much alcohol is in the bloodstream, but this could happen at different times for different people. It also depends on a person’s medical history, any medications they are on, what they have eaten, and their tolerance level. To assess your risk level, it is important to consult a medical professional.

Effects of Alcohol Poisoning

Alcohol poisoning can cause severe consequences. Alcohol travels through the bloodstream and enters the brain through digestion. This means that someone may have consumed enough to become poisoning but does not experience the effects right away. Alcohol depresses your gag reflex. This means if you vomit, you have an increased risk of choking. This could, in turn, cause vomit to enter your lungs. This may cause you to stop breathing. Alcohol causes your blood sugar to drop and alcohol poisoning could lead to seizures because of the low blood sugar. Alcohol poisoning can cause someone to pass out or enter a coma. Your body normally shuts down and goes into a coma when it is trying to protect your organs, more specifically your brain. The most severe effects are brain damage and even death.


There are symptoms you can watch for if you suspect someone has had too much to drink and may be experiencing alcohol poisoning. Symptoms may take a while to start to develop and they will be different from person to person. Their skin will be cold to the touch and they may be clammy. Their lips may appear to be a blue-ish color. Their breathing may sound irregular when you are talking to them or they may even sound confused. They may begin to vomit or experience choking. If you suspect someone is suffering from alcohol poisoning, call emergency services immediately.

The worst thing you can do is begin to panic. Talk to emergency services on how to proceed and the best way to help the person who is poisoned. Stay calm and watch for any more signs to develop. Try to keep the person awake and do not leave them alone. When emergency responders arrive, provide them with as much information regarding what happened as you can.

If emergency services are not called and the symptoms go untreated, short and long term effects can occur. Alcohol poisoning is a serious condition that requires prompt medical care. Left untreated, alcohol poisoning can lead to permanent brain damage, abnormal heartbeat, and even death. Hospitals and medical personnel, by law, have to protect the privacy of the individual. Their main priority is to help provide medical care, not to tell their work or school about the incident.


There are steps you can take in order to limit the likelihood that alcohol poisoning will happen to you. The first step is to abstain from alcohol or drink in moderation. This is normally one drink a day for women and two for men. However, this can vary so it is best to speak with a healthcare professional. Have a meal before you have a drink. This will help to slow down how fast the alcohol is absorbed. If you plan on having more than one drink, have water in between. Store products containing alcohol out of reach of small children and teens. This includes medications, mouthwash, and rubbing alcohol.

Get The Help You Deserve

If you are struggling with alcohol abuse, the best prevention method is to seek help from a professional treatment center. Those suffering from an addiction have an increased risk of experiencing alcohol poisoning. Eliminating the disease helps to eliminate the risk. Treatment programs help to fully recover those who are suffering from alcohol abuse.

Arizona Addiction Recovery Center provides its patients with unparalleled care for drug and alcohol addiction. Their healthcare professionals create individualized plans that put each person on their unique path to recovery. Turn over a new leaf and start the recovery process today.