When talking about binge drinking, heavy drinking, alcoholism, or anything that involves alcohol, alcohol poisoning gets thrown around. It’s become a sort of catchall term to refer to a very drunk individual. Unfortunately, this isn’t what alcohol poisoning is. Knowing some home remedies for alcohol poisoning could potentially save someone’s life, and connecting them with a drug and alcohol detox center once they’ve recovered can keep them on the right path after their ordeal.
What Is Alcohol Poisoning?
Alcohol poisoning, also known as acute alcohol poisoning, is when an individual’s blood alcohol content (BAC) exceeds a certain level. Although there’s no agreed-upon cutoff, it’s generally around .30% BAC that potentially fatal alcohol poisoning symptoms begin to occur.
Acute alcohol poisoning occurs when a person’s liver can only metabolize around one drink of alcohol per hour. All subsequent drinks aren’t processed by the liver and end up directly in the bloodstream.
Signs of Alcohol Poisoning
Alcohol poisoning is a severe consequence of drinking large amounts of alcohol rapidly. However, alcohol poisoning can also happen when adults or children drink household products that contain alcohol without knowing it. The most common risks of alcohol poisoning include:
- Slow breathing
- Irregular breathing
- Low body temperature
- Blue-tinged skin
- Pale skin
- Passing out without being awakened
- Central nervous system depression
- Respiratory depression
- Decreased heart rate
It’s also important to know about the many alcohol poisoning complications, which include:
- Choking on their vomit
- Severe dehydration
- Brain damage
- Heart attack
What To Do If Someone Suffers Alcohol Poisoning
If you notice any of these signs on someone, you must seek medical attention immediately—call 911 or your local emergency number for medical help. Be ready to provide information about the type of alcohol and the amount of alcohol the person drank.
Because alcohol poisoning affects gag reflexes, you should never leave the person alone. The most important thing you can do is everything you can to prevent them from vomiting because they can choke. Ensure they’re always in a sitting position and keep them awake to avoid losing consciousness. Ways to keep someone experiencing alcohol poisoning safe until the individual can receive medical attention include:
- Calling 911 or your local authorities
- Trying your best to keep them awake
- Trying to keep them in a sitting position
- If they can drink something, give them some water to prevent dehydration
- If they’re unconscious, put them in the recovery position or on their side
- Do not give them coffee or any caffeinated beverages like sodas
- Do not lie them on their back
- Do not give them more alcohol
- Do not make them walk
- Do not make them throw up
You also need to beware of home remedies for alcohol poisoning that can do more harm than good. Remember, this is a life-threatening situation. Don’t try to ease the signs of an alcohol poisoning episode by:
- Sleeping it off
- Drinking black coffee
- Taking a cold shower
- Walking it off
Alcohol Poisoning Treatment
If you make it to the hospital, doctors may “pump” your stomach. They’ll try to get all of the contents of your stomach out to prevent any leftover alcohol from getting into your bloodstream and exacerbating the symptoms.
Most treatments for alcohol poisoning include:
- Administering fluids through an IV
- Give oxygen to help people breathe better
- Flush the stomach of toxins
- Remove toxins from the body
- Add vitamins and glucose to prevent severe complications of alcohol poisoning.
- Careful monitoring to prevent breathing or choking problems
- Hemodialysis to filter waste and toxins from the body and speed the removal of alcohol from the bloodstream
Alcohol Poisoning Prevention
Practicing binge drinking can be a dangerous activity. If you’re going to drink alcohol, keep these tips in mind to prevent alcohol poisoning:
- Drink in moderation (men should refrain from drinking no more than two drinks, and women should have only one)
- Alternate alcoholic drinks with water to stay hydrated
- Never drink alcohol on an empty stomach
- Avoid drinking alcohol if you’re taking prescription medications or other drugs (check interaction warnings on medication labels)
- Stay away from drinking games, or use of beer bongs or funnels, that significantly increase the amount of alcohol you drink in a short period of time
Getting Help for Alcohol Abuse at Lighthouse Recovery Institute
While alcohol overdose doesn’t mean someone is an alcoholic, it might be a warning sign. If you or someone you know recently experienced alcohol poisoning after a night of binge drinking, it might be time to consider getting help.
Consider staging an intervention to discuss your loved one’s alcohol abuse. If you’re the one struggling with alcoholism, consider speaking to a therapist about your alcohol use. Alcoholism is more common than most people think. After all, alcohol is widely accepted by our society.
If you or someone you love struggles with substance abuse, don’t wait until it’s too late; contact us at 866.308.2090 today. At Lighthouse Recovery Institute, we can help you conquer the battle against alcohol addiction and start walking towards recovery. Our personalized and comprehensive treatment programs give you the tools you need to leave alcohol behind and start walking the path towards a sober life filled with happiness and progress.