Alcohol Poisoning: Causes, Signs, And It's Preventive Measures

Excessive intake of alcohol can be harmful and can lead to alcohol poisoning. 

Sushmita Sharma
Written by: Sushmita SharmaUpdated at: Jan 15, 2023 17:30 IST
Alcohol Poisoning: Causes, Signs, And It's Preventive Measures

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Alcohol poisoning is the result of consuming excessive alcohol in a short period. This occurs due to the increase of alcohol levels in your blood. Its symptoms include confusion, slow breathing, low body temperature, and unconsciousness. Alcohol poisoning can cause many complications, like vomiting, brain damage, seizures, and even death. It can affect anyone regardless of age, weight, gender, or tolerance.

What Is Alcohol Poisoning

Alcohol poisoning occurs when you drink a large amount of alcohol in a short period. The alcohol enters your bloodstream and rises as it is digested and absorbed by your stomach. Your liver is unable to remove the toxins quickly when your blood alcohol levels are high. Alcohol is a depressant and affects your brain and nervous system. It causes breathing problems and changes heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature. It may result in brain damage and can also be fatal.

Symptoms Of Alcohol Poisoning

  • You may witness a bluish-coloured or cold and clammy skin 
  • There may be slow or irregular breathing. In addition, you may have an irregular pulse or heartbeat.
  • The temperature of your body may dip
  • Confusion, slurred speech, slowed response, and unconsciousness can be a sign of alcohol poisoning
  • Severe lung infections can also indicate alcohol poisoning
  • Seizure
  • Vomiting

Complications Of Alcohol Poisoning

Alcohol poisoning can cause many complications. Some of them are as follows:

  • Alcohol can cause severe dehydration, which can lead to low blood pressure and increased heart rate.
  • If the amount of alcohol is extreme, it can lead to seizures
  • It can cause nausea and vomiting, which might lead to choking.
  • It can lead to permanent brain damage
  • Your heartbeat can get abnormal or, in some cases, can also stop
  • Alcohol poisoning can also lead to seizures and may be the beginning of coma and death.
  • Severe respiratory depression
  • Hypothermia
  • Pancreatitis

Things You Can Do If Someone Has Alcohol Poisoning

  • Try to keep them awake in a sitting position, and do not make them lie down
  • Try to make them drink water
  • Do not give them coffee, as caffeine can cause dehydration
  • Don’t give them more alcohol 
  • Loosen their clothes if they are very tight

How To Prevent Alcohol Poisoning

  • You should not forget to drink water after consuming alcohol
  • Avoid sipping on an empty stomach and drink in moderation
  • Do not drink alcohol when you are on medications
  • Do not play games that can lead to binge drinking

Bottomline

Alcohol poisoning can be fatal and needs immediate attention. You should drink alcohol in moderation and keep yourself hydrated. You may face headaches, nausea, anxiety, stomach cramps, and tremors while recovering from alcohol poisoning. You run the risk of overdosing on alcohol if you drink quickly, have a high tolerance or are diabetic. There are no remedies to treat alcohol poisoning at home, therefore, seek medical help to avoid further damage. If you know someone who indulges in overconsumption of alcohol, try to make them aware of the severe effects of it.

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