People typically drink alcohol for its relaxing effects, and many adults are capable of only having one or two drinks before they stop for the day. Unfortunately, people with an alcohol addiction may not be able to stop drinking, even when they’ve had a dangerous amount. Other people may feel the urge to binge drink if they are at a social occasion where it seems to be the norm, such as at a college party. Knowing what an alcohol overdose is and looks like could be what saves someone’s life.
Alcohol is a depressant that affects your central nervous system. The same relaxing effect that people are trying to achieve when they drink can also slow down your heart rate and impact your coordination if you consume too much alcohol. When you take a drink, the alcohol is absorbed by the stomach and small intestine where it then enters your bloodstream. Your liver then tries to break down the alcohol, but it can only process so much at a time. If you drink large quantities of alcohol too fast, then your liver cannot filter it from your bloodstream in enough time to minimize the effects.
The rate at which your body processes alcohol depends greatly upon your metabolism. Your age, body weight, and tolerance for alcohol all play a role in how much it will take to give you alcohol poisoning. On average, the body can only process around one unit of alcohol an hour, which equals around a small shot of liquor or about a third of a glass of wine. Binge drinking, which is defined as having more than four drinks in two hours, places you at a higher risk of having an alcohol overdose.
If you or someone that you love experiences an alcohol overdose, then you may notice the following symptoms.
- confusion and disorientation
- decreased body temperature
- shallow or difficult breathing
- pale and clammy skin
- passing out or becoming unresponsive
Alcohol poisoning is an emergency medical condition that requires immediate care. If you suspect that someone is having alcohol poisoning, then you’ll want to contact your local emergency medical services or take them directly to the hospital. The treatment for alcohol poisoning may include pumping the stomach to remove any unprocessed alcohol. An IV may be used to administer fluids or medications to counteract the effects of the alcohol, and the medical team may prescribe nutrients such as thiamine to prevent brain damage. If someone does have convulsions or seizures, then being in a medical facility can help them to stay as safe as possible until the crisis is over.
Stop Worrying About Having an Alcohol Overdose
Experiencing an overdose or worrying about having one is a serious sign that you or a loved one could be dealing with alcohol addiction. Although overdoses can sometimes happen to someone who rarely drinks as a one-time event, the risk of having one goes up when you consume large amounts of alcohol on a regular basis. Typically, health care providers recommend that someone who has an overdose should undergo an assessment to find out if they may have an alcohol addiction.
During an alcohol assessment, you’ll meet with an addiction professional who will ask you questions about your lifestyle. They may ask you if you’ve ever experienced an overdose or other alcohol-related health problems. You’ll also be asked to provide information about how much and how often you drink. Although it can sometimes be hard to answer these types of questions, being honest is the best way to find out if you could benefit from professional treatment.
Addiction treatment makes it possible to stop worrying about having an alcohol overdose. If you’ve been drinking heavily up until this point, then you might need professional support to help you safely detox and begin to learn how to live without alcohol. While your first few days of not drinking will be challenging, you’ll find that each new day gets a little easier. You’ll also discover just how free it is to live without the fear of drinking so much that you get seriously ill. In time, you’ll find that your new sober lifestyle is more fun than the life you’ve been living up until now where alcohol controls your behavior.
Did you or a loved one have an alcohol overdose? Or, are you just worried about having one? We can help put a stop to your worries. Give us a call today at 855-334-6120.