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2
Sep

Can You Overdose on Alcohol?

Sometimes people make the mistake of thinking that drugs are dangerous, but consuming a lot of alcohol doesn’t present any real risks. Can you overdose on alcohol? The simple answer is yes. When someone overdoses on alcohol, it becomes dangerous and even potentially life-threatening. This condition is also known as alcohol poisoning. If your life or that of someone you care about has reached the point of overdosing on alcohol, it’s time to get professional help.

What Does Alcoholism Look Like?

When someone falls victim to alcoholism, certain signs become apparent. The signs and symptoms of alcohol addiction include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Redness of the nose and face
  • Slurred speech
  • Poor coordination
  • Needing to drink in order to feel normal 
  • Ignoring responsibilities in order to drink
  • Frequent hangovers
  • Blackouts from drinking
  • Overdosing on alcohol

A professional treatment program can review a person’s relationship with alcohol and determine if they have become an alcoholic. From there, a treatment program can be planned to help them become sober.

Can You Overdose on Alcohol and How?

Someone wondering “Can you overdose on alcohol?” may think it’s just a case of too much of a good thing. Overdosing on alcohol can happen because of a few different reasons. The first one is obvious: drinking a large amount of alcohol. This often happens when a person binge drinks. When a person drinks alcohol faster than their body can process it, they risk overdosing on it.

Another contributor to developing alcohol poisoning happens when a person mixes alcohol with other substances. Many people combine drinking alcohol with using some type of drug, including prescription, street drugs, or both. Some medications, such as painkillers and antibiotics, may cause a harmful reaction when combined with drinking alcohol. Both these types of drugs and street drugs commonly used recreationally can amplify the effects of alcohol. When this happens, an alcohol overdose becomes more likely.

Someone who either does not know better, such as a child, or who feels desperate to consume alcohol, may ingest common household items that include alcohol as an ingredient. These include mouthwash, rubbing alcohol, and cooking extracts. It proves possible to overdose on alcohol this way. 

Signs That Someone Has Overdosed on Alcohol

Knowing the signs of when someone has overdosed on alcohol can help save their lives. Common signs to be on the lookout for include:

Vomiting: Alcohol acts as an irritant on the stomach lining, which often leads to a person vomiting. This proves especially true when a person has an unusually high blood alcohol level. However, the process of throwing up does not lower the blood alcohol content level. Additionally, a person may be so inebriated that they have difficulty moving or have passed out. In these cases, they are at risk of choking on their vomit and dying from asphyxiation. 

Change in Skin Color or Temperature: Skin color can be an indicator of alcohol overdose because alcohol affects the part of the brain that regulates a person’s temperature. Alcohol consumption can cause a person to breathe more slowly, which in turn reduces the amount of oxygen distributed throughout the body. This can cause a person’s skin to become pale or blue, as well as cold or clammy to the touch.

Confused Mental State: Someone who has overdosed on alcohol often shows signs related to their mental state. They become confused and have trouble with basic cognitive functions. They may have trouble speaking coherently, slur their speech, or have difficulty walking. 

Unconsciousness: You can overdose on alcohol and appear to just be passed out, leaving someone to think you just need to sleep it off. In fact, the person may need immediate medical care because they are unable to ask for it themselves and could possibly have suffered from cardiac arrest.                                                                                                                                                                          

How Alcohol Overdose Is Treated

If you suspect someone has overdosed on alcohol, contact medical assistance immediately. When a person knows you can overdose on alcohol, it becomes important to either call an ambulance or quickly get the person to an emergency room. Do not rely on “home remedy” treatments like giving the person coffee, telling them to walk it off, or letting them sleep it off. 

Medical professionals have several choices for treating alcohol addiction, including alcohol rehab in Atlanta. The quicker they can begin treatment, the better the chances of saving the person from severe damage or death. Options for treating an alcohol overdose include:

  • Pumping the stomach
  • Mechanical filtration of the blood
  • Providing fluids and nutrients via an IV
  • Providing oxygen treatment
  • Monitoring breathing 
  • Ensuring choking does not occur
  • Using medications like Metadoxine or Fomepizole

Treatment For Alcohol Addiction in Atlanta

When it gets to the point that someone is wondering “Can you overdose on alcohol?”, addiction may have already set in. A treatment center like Buckhead Behavioral Health in Atlanta can help assess you or someone you love to determine if alcohol addiction has become a problem. We treat this medical issue with a variety of evidence-based programs that help people overcome their alcohol addiction for good.
Visit our admissions page now and see how we can help you turn your life around. Contact us and let us answer any questions you have about getting better.

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