We all have been with someone who had a few drinks too many. It can be quite obvious when somebody is very intoxicated, and that individual is often disregarded as just participating in harmless (albeit irresponsible) behavior. However, sometimes intoxication can become dangerous when it leads to alcohol poisoning. Alcohol poisoning is when the liver is no longer able to successfully break down alcohol that the individual is consuming, potentially leading to long-term damage to their livers, kidney, and brain. To avoid potential damage, learn to identify the signs of alcohol poisoning so you can get help for someone with these symptoms as soon as possible.
1. Visibly Drunk
This is the first sign of alcohol poisoning. As they transition from mild intoxication to severe intoxication, they will have a significant change in mental state. Some examples of a change in mental state when visibly drunk include an increase in aggression or depression, poor decision-making, and a decrease in memory and mental functioning. They will also lose most physical coordination, resulting in clumsy behavior and possibly a fall. Finally, the individual may blackout and lose all memory of the evening.
2. Passing Out
If someone has passed out from drinking too much, make sure to monitor them throughout the night. If they do not wake up when you shake them or speak to them, they could be suffering from alcohol poisoning and may require emergency assistance.
When an individual has overdosed on alcohol, their body works to expel the toxins from the body as quickly as possible. The easiest way to do this is by vomiting to get all of the alcohol out of the system. However, in some cases an individual is so drunk their gag reflex does not work, and they can choke on the vomit. If this happens when an individual is passed out, they can choke to death and die.
4. Slow Breathing
If alcohol is making its way into the vital organs throughout the body, the brain will begin to slow the individual’s breathing and other bodily functions. If an intoxicated individual exhales and then does not inhale again for 10 or more seconds, their brain may be in the initial process of shutting down.
5. Pale, Clammy and Cold Skin
As the amount of oxygen coming to the brain and body is restricted, the temperature and color of the individual’s skin will change. The reduction of oxygen in their blood will result in very pale or even blue skin, with the extremities being the first portion of the body to exhibit symptoms. Extremities include fingers, toes, the tip of the nose, eyelids, and lips.
Get Help For Alcohol Addiction in San Diego
If you struggle with alcohol addiction and regularly binge drink, you could be in danger of giving yourself alcohol poisoning. Get the help you need to avoid putting your health in danger at the Pearson Center for Alcoholism and Addiction Research. Located in San Diego, the Pearson Center offers clinical trials that provide free treatment for alcoholics who want to get sober. For more information, give us a call at (858) 784-7867.