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Understanding the risks of alcohol overdose

Celebrating at parties, cheering on a favorite sports team. And enjoying after-work gatherings are all common ways to relax or be with friends. For some people, these occasions may also include the consumption of alcohol. And even more, excessive and dangerous consumption or in high quantities. And when this happens, the consequences can be deadly.

Drinking too much too quickly can cause significant impairment in motor coordination, decision-making, and impulse control. Other functions, of which increase the risk of harm. Continuing to drink despite clear signs of significant impairment can result in an alcohol overdose.

What Is An Alcohol Overdose?

Bad impact of alcohol overdose

An alcohol overdose occurs when there is so much alcohol in the blood that the areas of the brain that control basic life functions. Such as breathing, heart rate, and thermoregulation, which become inhibited. Symptoms of alcohol overdose include confusion; difficulty staying conscious; throwing up; seizures; trouble breathing; slow heart rate; cold and clammy skin; blunted responses, such as lack of the gag reflex (which prevents choking); and extremely low body temperature. Alcohol overdose can result in permanent brain damage or death.

What differentiates between use that produces deterioration and use that puts life in danger varies between individuals. Age, alcohol tolerance, gender, how fast you drink, medications you’re taking, and the amount of food you eat can all be factors.

The use of alcohol and opioids or sedative hypnotics. Such as medications for sleep and anxiety, which can increase the risk of an overdose. Examples of these medications are sleep aids such as zolpidem and eszopiclone, and benzodiazepines such as diazepam and alprazolam. Even drinking alcohol while taking over-the-counter antihistamines can be dangerous. Using alcohol with opioid pain relievers, such as oxycodone and morphine. Or illicit opiates, such as heroin, is also a very dangerous combination. Like alcohol, these drugs suppress the areas of the brain that control vital functions like breathing. Using alcohol and other drugs together intensifies their individual effects and could lead to an overdose with even moderate amounts of alcohol.

Who Can Be At Risk?

Anyone who consumes a lot of alcohol too quickly can be in danger of an alcohol overdose. This is especially true for people who engage in binge drinking. Defined as a pattern of drinking that increases the blood alcohol level (BAC) to 0.08 percent or more. This typically occurs after a woman consumes 4 drinks or a man consumes 5 drinks in approximately 2 hours 1; as in heavy drinking, defined as drinking twice or more the binge drinking limits for women and men. two Teens and young adults who drink may be at higher risk for alcohol overdose. Research shows that college-aged teens and young adults often drink excessively and in high amounts. Drinking such large amounts of alcohol can overwhelm the body’s ability to break down and remove alcohol from the blood. This results in rapid increases in BAC and significantly impairs the functions of the brain and other body systems.

As The BAC Increases, The Risks Also Increase

An alcohol overdose occurs when there is so much alcohol in the blood that the areas of the brain that control basic life functions, such as breathing, heart rate, and thermoregulation, become inhibited. Symptoms of alcohol overdose include confusion; difficulty staying conscious; throwing up; seizures; trouble breathing; slow heart rate; cold and clammy skin; blunted responses, such as lack of the gag reflex (which prevents choking); and extremely low body temperature. Alcohol overdose can result in permanent brain damage or death.

The BAC can continue to rise even when a person stops drinking or is unconscious. Alcohol in the stomach and intestine continues to enter the blood and circulate throughout the body.

It is dangerous to think that an unconscious person will be fine if they are allowed to sleep until the effects wear off. One potential danger of alcohol overdose is choking on your own vomit. Alcohol at high levels can impede signals in the brain that control automatic responses like the gag reflex. Without the gag reflex, a person who drinks to the point of losing consciousness is in danger of choking on their own vomit and dying from lack of oxygen. Even if the drinker survives, an alcohol overdose like this can cause long-term brain damage.

Know The Warning Signs And Act Quickly

Know the warning signs, and if you suspect someone is overdosing on alcohol, call 911 immediately. Do not wait for the person to present all the symptoms, and be aware that a person who has lost consciousness can die. Don’t play doctor: cold showers, hot coffee, or long walks won’t reverse the effects of alcohol overdose, and can actually make things worse.

While waiting for medical help to arrive:

  • Be prepared to give information to first responders, including the type and amount of alcohol the person drank; other drugs you took if you know; and any health information you know about the person, such as current medications, drug allergies, and any existing health conditions.
  • Do not leave an intoxicated person alone, as they are at risk of injury from falling or drowning. Keep the person on the floor in a sitting or partially upright position rather than in a chair.
  • Help a person who is vomiting. Have him lean forward to prevent choking. If a person is unconscious or lying down, move them to their side with one ear toward the ground to prevent choking.

Stay alert to keep your friends and family safe. And remember: You can avoid the risk of alcohol overdose by drinking responsibly, if you choose to drink, or by not drinking at all.

You may like to read TIPS TO STOP DRINKING ALCOHOL

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