What do Americans need to know about alcohol poisoning? The facts about alcohol poisoning are sobering and alarming. Alcohol poisoning leads to confusion, coma, and even death. Call 208.486.0130 to speak with someone from Northpoint Recovery about our alcohol addiction treatment program in Idaho if you or a loved one is struggling with alcoholism.
About Alcohol Poisoning
Toxicity occurs when the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) gets very high. People who drink responsibly keep themselves between 0.001 and 0.06 BAC. Beyond 0.06, they are less sensitive to pain and take more risks.
When you get to 0.08, you are at the legal intoxication level. This applies to many states except Utah. At this point, the police will arrest you for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). Commercial drivers have their limit at 0.04. At 0.4, the central nervous system suppression is so severe that the individual may go into a coma or die. When you get to 0.45 and beyond, there is a high possibility you will die.
Binge Drinking and Its Role in Alcohol Poisoning
Binge drinking opens individuals to several physical and health-related dangers.
Behavioral Health Consequences
Acute intoxication leads to accidents, injuries, violence, and spousal abuse. It impairs coordination, spatial awareness, and concentration. It also hampers memory processing and decision-making. It plays a role in impulsive and risky sexual behavior.
Mental Health Consequences
It also impairs fetal development and damages adolescent brain development. Depression, anxiety, and suicide are acute adverse effects of binge drinking. It also enhances feelings of depression and shame. At the same time, getting drunk masks or suppresses stress and life problems. Failing to address these issues could lead to abusing more potent substances.
Physical Health Consequences
Binge drinking causes high blood pressure, heart disease, brain damage, and abdominal pain. It increases the risk of having an ischemic stroke. One long-term effect of drinking is the deterioration of nerves. There is also a connection between binge drinking and binge eating. Researchers believe heavy drinking causes an increased appetite and leads to overeating.
Alcohol Addiction and Its Role in Alcohol Poisoning
People struggling with alcohol use disorder (AUD) or alcoholism are at an increased risk for alcohol poisoning, but another trend increases that risk. It involves mixing drugs or other substances with alcohol.
Mixing Alcohol with Drugs
Emergency department visits are high for people who combine alcohol with other drugs like cocaine, marijuana, heroin, sedatives, stimulants, antidepressants, and antipsychotics. The interactions between alcohol and these drugs can yield shocking results. Some prescription medications also contain alcohol. Taking these will add to your BAC. This may cause poisoning.
Mixing Alcohol with Energy Drinks
Energy drinks cause health problems due to their caffeine content. Researchers found mixing alcohol and energy drinks motivates you to drink more alcohol. That’s because caffeine prevents drinkers from feeling intoxicated. Thus, they end up binge drinking to get high.
Concurrent Tobacco Smoking and Drinking Alcohol
Many drinkers admit to smoking and vice versa, which can lead to cross-tolerance and cross-sensitization. Combining the two causes cancer, respiratory diseases, cardiovascular disease, liver damage, and death.
Dealing with Alcohol Poisoning
Watching someone affected by alcohol poisoning can be a traumatizing moment. Here are some steps you should take:
- Call 911 for urgent medical help
- Try to keep them awake and sitting up
- If they are conscious, give them water
- If they are unconscious, put them in the recovery position
- Cover them with extra clothing or blankets
- Stay with them and monitor them until the first responders arrive
Remember, you should not give them any drink other than water. Be careful when taking care of them. Some might become aggressive or violent. Explain what is happening as you wait for the ambulance.
Learn What to Know About Alcohol Poisoning in Idaho at Northpoint Recovery
The only fact about alcohol poisoning you should remember is that it is a life-threatening condition. If you or a loved one is struggling with alcoholism, that should be enough to push you to seek treatment. Contact Northpoint Recovery today at 208.486.0130 to learn more about our alcohol detox and addiction programs.