What is Alcohol Poisoning?
Alcohol poisoning occurs when you consume too much alcohol quickly. But many people are unaware that alcohol poisoning can produce harmful side effects and can even be deadly.
If you drink a large amount of alcohol in a short period of time, you may experience different symptoms of alcohol poisoning immediately. Usually, this level of intoxication is accidental; you don’t realize how much alcohol you’ve consumed.
This article addresses three major questions: What are the symptoms of alcohol poisoning? What do you do if someone you know has alcohol poisoning? And finally, what is aftercare and how can it help you or your loved one live in health and wholeness?
What are the Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning?
According to a report published by an affiliate of the CDC, on average, six people (mostly adult males) die of alcohol poisoning each day in the United States. So, if you think “it’s never going to happen to me,” think again and be careful for your sake and those around you.
First, if you feel that you may have alcohol poisoning, then you should seek medical attention right away. It’s better to be safe than suffer long-term consequences such as slipping into a coma.
Some people have obvious symptoms of alcohol poisoning, such as feeling like you can’t breathe, decrease in body temperature, or extreme change in heart rate.
On the other hand, not all signs of alcohol poisoning are immediately clear. Someone may not know that they’re are suffering from alcohol poisoning if they black out. But in general, the most common symptoms of alcohol poisoning to watch out for include:
- Disorientation or confusion about your surroundings
- Gastrointestinal issues like vomiting, dry-heaving, or nausea
- Uncontrollable seizures or convulsions
- Extremely slow breathing (less than eight breaths per minute)
- Skin that looks slightly blue, pale, or clammy
- Chills from having a decreased body temperature
If you notice that someone has passed out and they’re not showing signs of consciousness, you should call medical services immediately. Remember, even a drunk person demonstrates some signs, however minor, of consciousness.
What Should You Do if Someone Has Alcohol Poisoning?
If you think that someone around you is showing signs of alcohol poisoning, here are four steps to getting them the help they need.
#1. Call 911: Do not hesitate to call emergency medical services. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially when someone’s life may be at stake. The Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs states that the number one reason why young people didn’t help a peer with alcohol poisoning was because they didn’t perceive that help was needed. If in doubt, make the call.
#2. Stay with the Unconscious Person: If you can’t bring the person back to consciousness, the worst thing you can do is to leave them unattended. Stay with and watch the person until medical professionals arrive. If necessary and if you’re able, accompany the person to the hospital or check in the next day to make sure they’re okay. And if this isn’t the first time this happened with this person, consider talking to them about alcoholism recovery options.
#3. Provide Care if the Person is Vomiting: Although there’s nothing enjoying about being near to someone throwing up, it’s important to keep an eye on someone if they’re severely intoxicated. There’s a high chance they could choke on their vomit if they are left alone. Try to help the person by propping up their head or torso to prevent choking or breathing difficulty.
#4. Recall What Happened Before: Once the medical professional arrive, they’ll want you to recall what happened up until that point. What and how much did the person drink? What were their symptoms? How long has the person been in this state? Do you know if they have any other medical conditions?
Treatment and Aftercare Programs
After alcohol poisoning incident, it might be worthwhile for you or your loved to seek out an addiction treatment program. To learn more about how to start your healing journey at Impact Recovery, get in touch with a member of our team here.
After this process, which probably includes a detox program, it’s vital to be involved in aftercare. A recovery aftercare program provides the stability a person need to stay on the path to healing, wholeness, and long-term well-being.
In an aftercare program, you can stay in touch with your therapists and follow a well-designed aftercare plan that has been individualized designed for you and your life. By sticking with your recovery plan, you minimize your likelihood of relapse and ensure a better quality of life.
Some of the benefits that aftercare programs offer include:
- Mental health services
- Education options
- Child care resources
- Employment assistance
- Financial literacy programs
- Housing resources
- Transportation recommendations
- Training on rebuilding your relationships
- Resources for legal counsel
- Keeping an eye on of your medical status
Healing and Recovery with the Help of Aftercare
Sometimes it takes a shocking experience for a person to wake up to an issue they have, such as alcoholism. One of these experiences can be a close call with alcohol poisoning, either of yourself or someone close to you.
But you don’t have to wait until that wake-up call. Get help today and seek out the treatment you need, as well as an aftercare program to help you stay on track.
A long-term treatment plan like aftercare helps you walk your journey—the straight and narrow path—that you have invested so much time and effort in building. Alcoholism and other substance abuse disorders can harm your physical, mental, and emotional health over long periods of time.
These harmful effects don’t automatically reverse themselves when you stop using alcohol and drugs—it’s a lifelong process of rebuilding, healing, and staying sober.