Because of its relaxing effect, it isn’t uncommon for people to consume alcohol after a long day or when they’re stressed. If you find yourself in a social setting where alcohol is available, you might partake. However, if you or someone you know is drinking a significant amount of alcohol, that could lead to severe consequences.
At Midwest Detox Center, we can help you identify the signs of alcohol overdose to help individuals understand if they’re having too much. We also provide alcohol detox programs to lessen the effects of withdrawal.
Defining Alcohol Overdose
Before we can identify the signs of alcohol overdose, it’s essential to understand what it is first. If you hear someone referring to alcohol poisoning, that’s another way of saying alcohol overdose. Alcohol poisoning, or an alcohol overdose, occurs when someone drinks too much alcohol in a short timeframe.
Overdosing on alcohol has severe, sometimes deadly, consequences. Drinking too much too quickly can cause issues with your body temperature and heart rate. Still, it can also affect your breathing and gag reflex. Some who suffer from an alcohol overdose could end up in a coma or death.
Symptoms and Signs of Alcohol Overdose
Defining the symptoms and signs of alcohol overdose includes understanding that, when someone drinks too much, that raises their blood alcohol levels. That could lead their brain functioning to slow to a critical point before the person drinking knows what’s happening. Here are some warning signs:
- Dulled gag reflex that could cause choking
- Extreme confusion
- Loss of consciousness, including irregular or slowed breathing
- Slow heart rate
- Extremely low body temperature, including cold and clammy skin
Understanding Why Alcohol Overdose Occurs
The next step in identifying the signs of alcohol overdose involves understanding how or why it happens. When people drink alcohol, it has a direct impact on their central nervous system. Because it causes an individual’s movement, reaction time, and speech to slow, alcohol is classified as a depressant. When someone overdoses on alcohol, that means they’re drinking too much than their body can process safely.
The more someone drinks, the more alcohol enters their bloodstream. Before entering the bloodstream, a person’s stomach and small intestine absorb alcohol quickly. Even though the liver breaks down and metabolizes alcohol, it can only do such much at a time. If the liver can’t metabolize alcohol quickly enough, it redirects throughout the rest of an individual’s body.
Risk Factors for Alcohol Overdoses
If you’re worried that you might experience an alcohol overdose, or that one of your loved ones might, there are risk factors for this situation. These risk factors include the following examples:
- Age: Younger individuals are more likely to drink too much, which could lead to overdosing
- Binge drinking: If someone drinks more than five alcoholic beverages in one hour, that elevates their risk for overdose
- Body size: How quickly alcohol absorbs in a person’s body depends on their height and weight
- Drug use: People might not feel the effects of alcohol if they mix it with other drugs
- Gender: It’s more common for a man to drink heavily than a woman, which elevates their risk
- Other health conditions: People might be at greater risk if they have other health conditions, including diabetes
- Tolerance: Those who have a high tolerance or can drink quickly are at a higher risk of overdosing
Learn More About the Signs of Alcohol Overdose at Midwest Detox Center
If you have concerns about how to identify the signs of alcohol overdose, now is the time to reach out for support. Not only is overdosing dangerous for someone’s health, but it can also be deadly. As soon as you believe that someone might be experiencing an alcohol overdose, you must call for help immediately.