The Effects of Over-Drinking
Alcohol overdose (or alcohol poisoning) is a condition and one of the effects of drinking past the point of intoxication. It’s a common overdose due to alcohol’s high availability and the tendency of alcohol users to binge drink – drinking with the purpose of intoxication. Alcohol poisoning can be serious. The effects of this condition can range depending on the amount of alcohol consumed, but include:
- Damage to the heart and liver
- Damage to other organs and tissues of the body
One of the biggest problems with cases of serious alcohol poisoning is that the symptoms of overdose are similar to those of non-fatal intoxication. However, there are some differences. During an alcohol overdose, a person’s skin will often turn pale. He or she will stop being responsive, and will have visibly degraded reflexes and balance. The alcohol user may draw slow breaths or may have very strange and irregular breathing patterns. Eventually, the alcohol user will faint. At this point, serious and fatal damage can occur to the body.
Due to the serious nature of alcohol overdose, it’s important to seek treatment if a person passes out from drinking, especially if a person passes out multiple times in one night. If you believe that someone you know has overdosed on alcohol, call 911 (from the United States) or your country’s emergency number to seek treatment immediately.
Alcohol Poisoning: When Might a Person Overdose?
Because of peer pressure and a myriad of other factors, many alcohol users drink up to and past the point of overdose to the level known as alcohol poisoning. This sometimes occurs during drinking games, in which large amounts of beer or liquor are consumed very quickly.
Another reason for alcohol overdose is alcoholism. As a person becomes more and more dependent on alcohol, symptoms of withdrawal will become fiercer. The individual will find it difficult to stop using alcohol and may have symptoms colloquially known as “the shakes.” Alcoholics may drink to the point of alcohol poisoning, although overdose is more common in inexperienced drinkers; long-time alcohol users face other severe consequences like liver and heart damage.
How Alcohol Poisoning Is Treated and What Happens After an Alcohol Overdose
In any case, alcohol poisoning requires immediate treatment. Emergency medical professionals will need to remove as much alcohol from the body as possible. One way to do this is by pumping the patient’s stomach; this can be particularly effective if the patient has passed out quickly after consuming a great deal of alcohol, as much of the alcohol will not be processed for several hours after the patient has passed out. Doctors will also use medicine designed to keep the patient’s respiratory and circulatory systems functioning to prevent damage to any organs or tissues. Depending on the severity of the overdose, hospitalization may be required for several days, especially if the alcohol poisoning damaged any organs.
After treatment for alcohol overdose, it may be necessary to seek counseling for alcohol addiction. This treatment may include psychotherapy or group counseling. To find more information about alcoholism counseling, contact an organization like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Organizations like AA provide recommendations for both alcoholics and their families, and they can be a great way to get an alcoholic on the road to recovery after a serious alcohol overdose.
Remember that fast treatment is the only way to avoid the serious consequences of alcohol poisoning. You should be prepared to call an emergency hotline as soon as you notice the signs of an alcohol overdose.