This is because alcohol’s main effect as a depressant is slowing down or completely blocking certain nerve signals from reaching the brain, which is part of how drinking relaxes you. Unfortunately, some of these nerve signals control automatic bodily responses, which means that if you drink enough alcohol, it can literally cause your body to shut down. So, more specifically, alcohol poisoning is what occurs when you drink more alcohol in one sitting than your body is capable of processing. If you know the person, yell their name or try yelling something you know they wouldn’t like, to see if it arouses them. If you don’t know the person, yell and ask if they need help.

if someone is showing signs of an alcohol overdose you should

Alcohol or Other Drug Emergencies

At a BAC of 0.45 percent or above, a person is likely to die from alcohol intoxication. Any of these symptoms are signs that immediate medical attention is necessary. At this stage, a person’s BAC will range from 0.25 to 0.4 percent. Someone who is “just drunk” will be slurring their words, stumbling around, and acting drowsy. Someone with alcohol poisoning will be breathing slowly or irregularly, have cold skin, be vomiting a lot, and perhaps have a seizure or lose consciousness.

Health Care Professionals

Because this automatic function is being interfered with, when someone drinks to the point of unconsciousness and then vomits, their gag reflex will not kick in, and they can choke, asphyxiate, and die. If you suspect someone is experiencing an alcohol overdose, you should call 911 immediately. Do not assume that the person has passed out and will wake up on their own eventually or that the person will sleep it off. If a person is so intoxicated to the point that they are non-responsive, not gasping for air, hyperventilating or not breathing at all, or showing any of the other signs of alcohol poisoning, get help immediately. Use of this website and any information contained herein is governed by the Healthgrades User Agreement.

Clinician / Healthcare Provider

Seventy-five percent of alcohol poisoning deaths are among adults ages 35 to 64, according to the CDC. Helping someone seek out recovery services for alcohol abuse is important and could save their life in the long run, but when they are in danger in the short run, getting them medical attention is the priority. The faster someone with alcohol poisoning receives proper treatment, the better their long-term health outlook. Beyond merely surviving, ensuring someone with alcohol poisoning is treated quickly can prevent continuing heart problems as well as permanent brain and organ damage that can lead to future health issues.

if someone is showing signs of an alcohol overdose you should

What are the symptoms of an alcohol overdose?

Do not wait for the person to have all the symptoms, and be aware that a person who has passed out can die. Don’t play doctor—cold showers, hot coffee, and walking do not reverse the effects of alcohol overdose and could actually make things worse. This is when a male rapidly consumes five or more alcoholic drinks within two hours or a female consumes at least four drinks within two hours. An alcohol binge can occur over hours or last up to several days. When we act early, we can prevent illegal substance use, including illegal opioids, and misuse of prescription medications, like opioids, that can lead to substance use disorders. It is always better to err on the side of caution in the event of a possible overdose.

Overdose and drug-related emergencies – Alcohol and Drug Foundation

Overdose and drug-related emergencies.

Posted: Mon, 06 Nov 2023 08:00:00 GMT [source]

Other health conditions

In severe cases where kidneys fail, dialysis may be started to support blood filtration. With high-risk drinking, the concentration of alcohol in the blood becomes high alcohol overdose enough to depress the areas of the brain responsible for consciousness and respiration. As a result, the drinker can lapse into a coma, stop breathing, and die.

Preventing Opioid Overdose

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