Alcohol Poisoning

by Sara Waldron on June 6, 2017

Al poisoning pic 1What is Alcohol Poisoning?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 38 million U.S. adults binge drink about four times a month. Binge drinking is defined as a pattern of drinking that brings a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 grams percent or above. This typically happens when men consume 5 or more drinks, and when women consume 4 or more drinks, in about 2 hours. This can result in alcohol poisoning, which can be deadly. Excessive drinking is hazardous to anyone’s health. If you’re the sober friend taking care of someone you may become fearful of a friend’s behavior when binge drinking. Some people may think the drunk behavior of others is funny. There is nothing funny about the serious and deadly consequences of alcohol poisoning. The aspiration of vomit can lead to asphyxiation or the poisoning of the respiratory center in the brain, which can both result in death. If you become concerned about someone’s condition from drinking or recognize the warning signs, seek medical treatment immediately.

What are the effects of Alcohol Poisoning?

Consuming too much alcohol in a short period time can result in alcohol poisoning. This can affect anyone, no matter your weight, age, gender, or alcohol tolerance. Your blood alcohol content (BAC) continues to climb as you drink. Once your BAC level becomes too high, your basic mental, physical, and emotional functions stop functioning properly. Even after you stop drinking, you can feel the effects of alcohol which could potentially lead to alcohol poisoning. Alcohol continues to be released from your stomach and intestines into your bloodstream after consumption and it takes your body a lot more time to get rid of it. In fact, your BAC levels can keep increasing for up to 40 minutes after you stopped drinking.

Warning Signs of Alcohol Poisoning

  • Confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Slow breathing (less than eight breaths a minute)
  • Irregular breathing (a gap of more than 10 seconds between breaths)
  • Blue-tinged skin or pale skin
  • Low body temperature (hypothermia)
  • Passing out (unconsciousness) and can’t be awakened

Al poisoning pic 2

If you suspect that someone has alcohol poisoning, even if you don’t notice the common signs, seek immediate medical care. Like the BSU Outreach Education page on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and Twitter @bsuoutreach, and check out our calendar for upcoming events on the Involvement Network at and search for the BSU Peer Educators.

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