How Does Someone get Alcohol Poisoning?

health problem

When it comes to alcohol, the effects can be dangerous. Medical News Today states that alcohol poisoning can cause someone to become extremely confused, unresponsive, disoriented, have shallow breathing, pass out, or even go into a coma. Binge drinking is a common cause of alcohol poisoning, and occurs when a person drinks an excessive amount of alcohol in a brief period – typically 4 drinks for women and 5 drinks for men in the span of 2 hours, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Alcohol poisoning is a very serious condition, and can occur even for some time after a person has ceased drinking. This is because alcohol levels in the body – known as blood alcohol concentration (BAC) – continue to rise 30-40 minutes after the last drink, causing a worsening of symptoms. Some other side effects of alcohol poisoning include hypothermia, pale skin, abnormal breathing or very slow breathing, and vomiting. Several dangerous, even life-threatening, issues can arise from symptoms of alcohol poisoning. A person could stop breathing altogether, they could suffer from a heart attack, choking on vomit could occur, hypothermia, risk of brain damage due to losing too much fluid, and seizures could ensue due to blood glucose levels dropping. How does alcohol poisoning occur in the body?

Alcohol not only affects the central nervous system, but also all your organs. When a person drinks, their stomach and small intestine quickly absorbs alcohol, making the alcohol enter the bloodstream at a faster rate. The more an individual consumes, the greater the alcohol concentration in the bloodstream. The liver metabolizes the alcohol, but it can only metabolize so much at a time – what doesn’t get metabolized gets redistributed throughout the rest of the body. There are many factors that could increase your risk for alcohol poisoning: your age, gender, body size, tolerance, binge drinking, drug use, and other health conditions may all have an impact. Being mindfully aware of these factors could help you prevent any issues that may arise.

If you witness alcohol poisoning, make sure that you lay the person on their side so that they cannot choke on their own vomit. Call 911 immediately, and stay with the person until help arrives.

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