Alcohol Overdose Symptoms

Alcohol Overdose Symptoms

Alcohol Overdose SymptomsDrinking is common. Drinking happens at parties, holidays, while cheering on our favorite sports teams and even during common activities. And while drinking is accepted and totally normal it can become dangerous if someone is drinking to excess which even at these events can happen.

Many people enjoy drinking moderately. Drinking moderately is defined as having 1 drink per day for women and 2 for men. Drinking more than moderately or drinking too much can lead to an alcohol overdose. Alcohol overdose happens when a person has blood alcohol content (BAC) sufficient enough to produce impairments that increase the risk of them harming themselves and even others. Alcohol overdoses can range in severity from problems with balance and slurred speech to even coma or death. Age, drinking experience, gender and the amount of food eaten as well as ethnicity can all influence how much alcohol is too much.

So how do you know how much is too much? What are the alcohol overdose symptoms?

Critical or severe alcohol overdose symptoms include:

  • Mental confusion, stupor, coma, or inability to wake up
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Slow breathing (fewer than 8 breaths per minute)
  • Irregular breathing (10 seconds or more between breaths)
  • Hypothermia (low body temperature), bluish skin color, paleness

Other alcohol overdose symptoms include:

  • Knowing the person has consumed large quantities of alcohol
  • The person is unconscious and cannot be woken up
  • Person vomits while passed and does not wake up during or after

Know the danger signals or signs that someone is getting close to an alcohol overdose can help significantly in preventing an alcohol overdose. Someone who has a severe impairment but is not exhibiting life threatening symptoms will have signs such as:

  • Speech, memory, coordination, attention, reaction time, balance problems
  • Judgment and decision making will be severely impaired
  • Vomiting and other signs of alcohol poisoning
  • The beginning stages of loss of consciousness

What will happen if someone who has alcohol overdose symptoms and doesn’t get treated?

  • They could end up choking on their own vomit
  • Breathing that slows, become irregular, or stops
  • Heart that beats irregularly stops
  • Hypothermia can lead to death
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) leads to seizures
  • Untreated severe dehydration from vomiting which can cause seizures, permanent brain damage and death.

Alcohol overdose symptoms are extremely dangerous and should be taken very seriously. Someone who is experiencing any alcohol overdose symptoms should be taken to a hospital immediately or 911 should be called. Here are some things you can do if you know someone is experiencing alcohol overdose symptoms:

1. Try to wake the person. Try to wake the person by calling their name, slapping their face, or pinching their skin. See if you can get a reaction that will wake the person up. Remember, just because they wake up doesn’t mean they are fine. Alcohol stays in the bloodstream until it is processed and just because you can get some reaction at 1:00 AM doesn’t mean they will still be conscious by 2:00 AM. Do not leave the person alone.

2. Check the person’s breathing. Evaluate if the person has slow or irregular breaths; less than 8 times per minute or more than 10 seconds between breaths. If they are not conscious or barely able to wake up, we need to make sure they don’t choke on their own vomit.

3. Turn the person on his/her side to prevent choking. If they are not conscious or barely able to wake up, we begin by making sure they don’t choke on their vomit. Start by putting their arm above their head. Bend their opposite knee and roll them toward you so that they are laying on their side, preferably their left side. Putting the person on their left side will slow the delivery of alcohol to the small intestine and also allows more air to surface from the right lung. This way, if they do throw up, the vomit will have a better chance of coming out.

4. Do not leave the person alone. Although it might be inconvenient, it is important to stay with someone who is extremely drunk and barely conscious. Continue to monitor their breathing, responsiveness, skin and lip color, etc.

5. If any of signs of alcohol poisoning exist, call 911

http://www.bacchusnetwork.org/poisoning-signs-symptoms.html

http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/AlcoholOverdoseFactsheet/Overdosefact.htm

What is Recovery?

What is Recovery?

Recovery from addiction is a journey not a destination. Addiction does not happen overnight, it takes time, therefore recovery also takes time. Addiction and alcoholism are defined as diseases. Addiction is the physical dependence on any mind or mood altering substance and the continued use regardless of consequences. Addiction is not a moral deficiency but rather a disease of the mind, body and spirit. Most people who become addicted cannot using drugs or drinking simply because they want to or “will” themselves to. Most people who suffer from addiction or alcoholism must seek outside help or an outside solution rather to help them get sober and then remain sober as they journey into recovery.

Sobriety is the cessation of drug use or drinking after an addiction has been formed. In order to remain sober addicts and alcoholics must find help from an outside source because they cannot find sobriety or gain sobriety on their own. Most of the time addicts and alcoholics who want to be in sobriety have tried many times to be sober on their own and have not been capable of it. This is why drug and alcohol treatment centers are available to anyone suffering with disease of alcoholism or addiction. Sobriety and the help to get sober is offered in the form of detox, inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, and support groups at these drug and alcohol treatment centers. Sobriety is not recovery though and in order to truly recover from the disease of alcoholism and addiction something more than just drug and alcohol treatment must be completed. This is where some kind of solution based therapy comes into play in order for the journey to recovery to begin.

Most people who want recovery begin by looking into 12 step programs because the term recovered is used in such self-help groups. Recovery is not only just the cessation of drug use and drinking but also the ability to live life effectively and usefully without the use of drugs and alcohol. This is why recovery is a lifestyle and not so much a destination that people reach once they get sober. Recovery is a way of living. More people than not find recovery in their 12 step fellowship such as AA or NA because it treats all three aspects of the disease of addiction. 12 step fellowships offer recovery because they give the addict or alcoholic not only the chance to stay sober but also steps to live a more effective and useful life. The 12 step programs of recovery offer a spiritual solution to a disease which includes a spiritual malady or maladjustment to life.

Recovery begins as soon as an addict or alcoholic’s behavior, ideals, ideas, thoughts, and actions change for the better. Recovery is not merely living life and battling against wanting to use drugs but finding the solution so they may never thinking of drugs or drinking again. Recovery allows this because it teaches a new way of life.