Alcohol is responsible for causing over 140,000 deaths each year. The impact of alcohol on public health is widespread, accounting for roughly 18.5% of emergency department visits and 22.1% of overdose deaths. Drinking too much too quickly can have significant effects, such as impaired motor coordination, decision-making, impulse control, and other functions. Continuing to drink despite obvious signs of impairment increases the risk of harm and can lead to an alcohol overdose.
Understanding How Alcohol Overdose Happens
It’s important to understand the signs of alcohol overdose, as it can be life-threatening. Excessive amounts of alcohol in the bloodstream can cause areas of the brain to shut down, leading to alcohol overdose. When blood alcohol concentration (BAC) rises, the effect of alcohol increases. Even when a person has stopped drinking, alcohol in the stomach enters the bloodstream, and BAC continues to rise. High BAC levels increase the risk of harm, loss of consciousness, blackouts, and even death.
Consuming too much alcohol too quickly can put anyone at risk of an alcohol overdose. But engaging in binge drinking is particularly dangerous. Drinking enough alcohol to bring blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08% or higher within two hours or less is considered binge drinking. This high-intensity drinking hinders brain signals that control automatic responses leading to decreased motor coordination, impaired judgment, accidents, violence, and sickness.
How Many Drinks Trigger Alcohol Poisoning?
The number of drinks it takes to cause signs of alcohol overdose depends on several factors. For example, gender, weight, and tolerance. However, alcohol can start to impair memory and coordination when the BAC levels are between 0.10 to 0.12 percent. Extreme drunkenness and blackouts are other harmful side effects. Another factor inducing signs of alcohol poisoning is using alcohol with heroin or prescription opioids.
Overdose and the Risks
Signs of alcohol overdose can be aggressive and fatal if the person does not get urgent medical treatment. You or a family member should call 911 right away to prevent complications or death. In the meantime, stay near and try to keep the person awake.
During this time, the person may display critical signs of alcohol poisoning, such as:
- Confusion or Disorientation
- Trouble Staying Conscious
- Extremely Decreased Body Temperature
- Slow Breathing and Heart Rate
- Pale Clammy Skin
- Bluish Lips and Fingernails
How Treatment Can Help Prevent Signs of Alcohol Overdose
Alcohol overdose does not always end in death. However, early addiction treatment can reduce the risks of alcohol poisoning. Alcohol addiction treatment at Granite Recovery Centers starts with detox combined with behavioral therapy. There is also a 12-step program that helps you through the physical, mental, and spiritual journey to sobriety. You can access holistic treatments or therapies while enrolled in the residential program or outpatient program. Other effective programs and services include:
- Intensive Outpatient Program
- Dual Diagnosis Treatment
- Medical & Holistic Detox
- Trauma Therapy
- Sober Living & Aftercare Programs
Need a Safe Haven for Alcohol Addiction Recovery?
Granite Recovery Centers treat men and women living in New Hampshire and other New England states such as Massachusetts. We are known as a trusted and secure place where individuals can overcome alcoholism and avoid the risks of overdose. Our highly trained and professional addiction treatment staff are committed to your recovery. Granite Recovery Centers provides medical detoxification for people who do not need immediate medical intervention, are not a danger to themselves, and are capable of self-evacuation in the event of an emergency. If you think we can help, feel free to call us at 855.712.7784 . An addiction counselor is available to take your call and help get you into the right treatment program.